Michael Bennet is a Jewish American Senator representing the state of Colorado.
Bennet (born November 28, 1964) was born in New Delhi, India, while his father was serving as an aide to the U.S. Ambassador, and he grew up in Washington, DC. Though not raised in an observant household, Bennet acknowledges his family's Jewish roots - his grandparents were both imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto and smuggled his mother, then a baby, out of the ghetto through an underground network. Bennet's grandmother escaped with nuns and sought refuge in a convent. His grandfather hid in different parts of the ghetto until the liquidation and forced deportation of inhabitants to labor camps. His grandparents and mother arrived in New York in 1950.
Bennet earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal.
Prior to moving to Colorado, Bennet served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration.
Before entering politics, Bennet worked as a Managing Director of the Anschutz Investment Company, where he had direct responsibility for the investment of over $500 million. He then served as Chief of Staff in Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s administration. Bennet also served as the Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools from 2005 to 2009.
On January 21, 2009, Bennet was appointed as the junior Senator from Colorado to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Kenneth L. Salazar. Bennet ran for, and won, re-election to the Senate in November 2010, beating Republican challenger Ken Buck by less than two percentage points. Bennet was re-elected to a second term on November 8, 2016.
Bennet does not affiliate with a particular religion and he was married by an Episcopal priest. “I was raised with two different heritages, one was Jewish and one was Christian,” Bennet told the Rocky Mountain News. “I am proud that both heritages are part of me, and I believe in God.”
Bennet married Susan Daggett, a successful natural resources lawyer, in 1997. Michael and Susan are the proud parents of three daughters, Caroline, Halina, and Anne.
Sources: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress;
Rocky Mountain News;
Michael Sandoval, “Bennet’s Views on Religion,” National Review, (October 28, 2010);
Nathan Guttman, “Colorado's Michael Bennet: America's Newest Jewish Senator,” Forward, (February 2, 2009).