New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has won the 2007 Julius B. Richmond Award, the highest honor given by the Harvard School of Public Health. The award honored the five-year mayor for using the city’s regulatory authority to improve health and safety in New York.
Under Bloomberg’s guidance, New York banned smoking and trans-fats from restaurants, distributed more than 18 million free condoms, and made a commitment to be environmentally sustainable by 2025.
Bloomberg also made headlines over the summer when he announced he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent. Rumors flew that the popular mayor was considering a presidential run, but he has consistently denied it.
The reward has gone to politicians in the past, including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ’54-’56, D-Mass., as well as television news anchor Katie Couric.
“Whoever is deserving in whatever branch of government or scientific enterprise will get recognition,” said Robin Herman, assistant dean of communication at the School of Public Health. [SEE CORRECTION BELOW]
Bloomberg, who will accept the award here on Monday, said in a statement, “I’m flattered by this honor, but really it’s a tribute to everything we’ve done to help New Yorkers and people around the world live longer, better, and healthier lives.”
The award commemorates former U.S. surgeon general and Harvard Medical Professor Julius B. Richmond, who was involved in public health campaigns, especially against tobacco.
CORRECTION: The Oct. 23 news article "Bloomberg Nabs School of Public Health Award" gave the wrong title for Harvard School of Public Health spokeswoman Robin Herman. She is the assistant dean for communications, not the assistant dean of communication.