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Bernie Sanders

(1941 - )


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Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is a Jewish American politician and the current junior Senator from Vermont.

Sanders (born September 8, 1941) was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants. Sanders graduated with a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1964 and afterwards spent time working on a kibbutz in Israel. Later that year he moved to Vermont where he worked as a writer, documentary producer and researcher.

Sanders' political career began in 1971 when he joined the anti-Vietnam War Liberty Union Party (LU) in Vermont. He ran in and lost multiple elections for a seat in the U.S. Senate and in 1979 eventually resigned from the LU and began working as a writer and producer of the American People's History Society.

From 1981 to 1989, Sanders served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest city. His accomplishments as mayor included building affordable housing, revitalizing the city's waterfront and downtown, initiating arts, youth and women's programs and increasing voter turnout by more than 50 percent. Burlington was recognized as one of the three most livable cities in America, and Sanders was chosen as one of the 20 best Mayors in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

In 1988, Sanders ran as an Independent for a vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but places second to Republican Peter Smith. In 1990, Sanders ran again and this time defeated the incumbent and became the first Independent elected to Congress in 40 years. Sanders was reelected seven times, making him the longest-serving Independent in the history of the House of Representatives.

In November 2006, Sanders was elected to the Senate as the junior Senator from Vermont. In 2012, he was re-elected to his post, garnering 71% of the vote. The major issues he has confronted in the Senate include progressive tax reform, national health care, cutting military spending and affordable housing.

Bernie Sanders announced in an interview with The Nation on March 6 2014 that he was "prepared to run for President of the United States in 2016." 

Sanders is married to Jane O'Meara Sanders; they have four children.


Sources: Congressman Bernie Sanders, Official Bernie Sanders Website; Wikipedia

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