NEW YORK — Michael Gould, a man often honored for his extensive philanthropic work and never quite comfortable getting recognized for it, was back in the spotlight Tuesday night.

This story first appeared in the June 27, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s was honored with the American Jewish Committee’s 2002 National Human Relations Award at a fund-raiser at the Hilton New York. The event raised $1.75 million for the AJC and drew nearly 800 guests, including former Saks Fifth Avenue chairman Philip Miller, Federated Department Stores’ Sue Kronick, Kate and Andy Spade and the Natoris.

“He does not like to be praised in public,” observed David Harris, executive director of the AJC, who introduced Gould and praised him for “invaluable leadership, judgment and philanthropy.”

“He’s a very special person and a good guy,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), who arrived at the end of the evening to pay homage to his longtime friend.

When Gould stepped up to the podium to accept his award, his humble approach at being feted was obvious. He told the story of a man who had been honored in a similar fashion. The man asked his wife in an extraordinarily self-satisfied tone if she knew how many other outstanding people there were out there. The wife replied pointedly, “one less than you think.””

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