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Michael Milken

Academy of Achievement

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Michael Milken

Michael Milken

Academy of Achievement

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Michael Milken is a financier and philanthropist noted for his role in the development of the market for high-yield bonds (also called junk bonds) during the 1970s and 1980s, and for his funding of medical research. Milken has also been engaged in philanthropic activities since the early 1980s. He is co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, Chairman of the Milken Institute, and founder of medical philanthropies funding research into melanoma, cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In a November 2004 cover article, Fortune magazine called him "The Man Who Changed Medicine" for his positive influence on medical research. Milken's compensation while head of the high-yield bond department at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the late 1980s exceeded $1 billion in a four-year period, a new record for U.S. income at that time. With an estimated net worth of around $2 billion as of 2010, he was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 488th richest person in the world. Much of that wealth comes from his success as a bond trader; he only had four losing months in 17 years of trading.

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