The name Maria Bartiromo means business. Here's why in a nutshell: The news anchor of CNBC’s "Closing Bell " and host/managing editor of the nationally syndicated "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo" (the country’s most watched financial news program) was recently named one of 50 people who helped shape the last 10 years, according to the Financial Times. About halfway through the decade, she received the Union League of Philadelphia’s prestigious Lincoln Statue Award for her significant contributions to United States.
The economy isn’t the only thing Bartiromo takes seriously. The Emmy-award-winning journalist—the first to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1995—also recognizes the importance of investing in children’s future. Bartiromo is on the Board of Directors of both the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York and PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement and Leadership), which is a non-profit dedicated to strengthening New York City’s public schools.
Here, the Brooklyn native discusses her own childhood influences and her hard-to-believe hidden musical talent.
Tell us how you came to own this precious object.
“My mom bought me an accordion when I was seven years old. We all grew up with instruments. My sister played one, my brother played the guitar, and my mom played the organ. We used to play together. I don’t know why she chose the accordion for me, but I had to take lessons after school a couple of times a week. I didn’t appreciate it then at all.
A couple of years ago, my mother said to me, ‘Look, do you want your accordion?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely!’ It’s so amazing to me that I spent so many years playing it as a child. I don’t think anyone would believe me unless they could see it. So she brought it over and inside the case I found my old song book. It was sweet to see my little kid handwriting in it.
A couple of days ago, Monica came over to take my picture with the accordion. After she left, I started playing it again for the first time since 1978. I must have been 11 when I stopped playing. It was so wonderful. It just warmed my heart to sit in my living room with my accordion 32 years later. It’s still in great shape. I love it so much.”
How do you live with your heirloom?
“It’s sitting in its brown leather case on a shelf in the corner of my living room. I look at it lovingly, pick it up, and play with it from time to time. It’s something that I want to keep beautiful forever, so I don’t live with it every day. Though it’s on display, it’s in a safe spot in my home. It just warms my heart whenever I look at it.”
Who in your life has most influenced your personal style and taste?
“My mom has always had great wisdom. As a child, she was very smart in terms of money. She would force me to save money so I could buy an ice cream cone or something that I wanted. She really set the tone for me in terms of responsible savings. It’s no surprise that I eventually got involved in business news. She really did have a quiet but real impact on me.”[Fill in the blank] Whenever I look at __ “my accordion”___I can't help but smile.
What's the best part of your day?
“Well, there are different times—not just one time every day. I love it when I do yoga in the morning. It’s so refreshing and strengthening. I feel like I get a clear head from it. I also love coming home and playing with my Maltese.”
What was the most memorable gift you've ever given or received?
“My mom gave me the beautiful gold bracelet that my dad had given her when they were first married. He also got her beautiful charms for each of their children (she had three). I don't wear it because I want to safeguard it in my jewelry box. It is very special to me.”
What was your last purchase that you believe (or hope) will mean something to you 10 years from now?
“I bought a small sculpture in London of a woman kneeling with her head down. It is a beautiful piece of work from an artist named Jonathan Wylder located on Motcomb Street. I love the very calming and intricate way she is posing. It’s gorgeous.”
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