Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is a Jewish American politician and the current junior Senator from Vermont. He is married to Jane
O'Meara Sanders; they have four children.
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
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 that he was running for President of the United States on May 26, 2015. Running on a progressive platform of increasing taxes for the wealthy and expanding social services, he is currently polling in second place for the Democratic Party nomination.