Who is Bernie Sanders?

United States Senator.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (photo credit: REUTERS/AARON P. BERNSTEIN)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Bernie Sanders is an American politician who was elected in the U.S. Senate in 2006 to represent Vermont. He is a seventy-seven-year-old democratic socialist who advocates for government benefits such as health care, and tax reform. He supports the reduction of military spending, and aim for diplomacy and international cooperation. He became the first Jews to win a major United States presidential primary when he won the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 2016.
This Bernie Sanders Biography will examine the following areas:
His Early Life
Bernie Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in New York, United States of America. His mother Dorothy Sanders, was an American and his father Elias Sanders, was a Hungarian. Elias migrated to the United States to work as a paint salesman and that’s where he met Dorothy, who was the descendant of Jewish parents.  
  • Political Interest – Bernie Sanders developed a love for politics at an early age. He stated that politics to him was an important issue because he learned as a child that when Hitler won the 1932 election “50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including 6 million Jews.”
  • Education 
    • He attended elementary school in Brooklyn and in the afternoons he attended Hebrew school and celebrated his bar Mitzvah in 1954.
    • He was the captain of the James Madison High School football team and competed in the New York indoor race where he was placed third. 
    • He later studied at the Brooklyn College for a year (1959-1960) after which he continued his education at the University of Chicago. 
    • In 1964 he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago. 
    • participated in protests such as the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther gave his “I have a dream” speech.  In the summer of that said year, he was fined twenty five dollars for resisting arrest during a segregation protest in Chicago’s public schools.
  • Professional Career – When he graduated from college he worked in several jobs in New York such as head start teacher, psychiatric aide, and carpenter but returned to Vermont in 1968 where he worked as a carpenter, filmmaker, and writer. 
  • Political Career – He became a member of the Liberty Union Party in 1971 and ran for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 and a candidate for United States Senator in 1972 and 1974. 
    • He was mayor of Burlington from 1981-1989.
  • Socialist League – While in University he joined the Young People’s Socialist League and as a student he was also active in the Civil Rights Movement for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Bernie Sanders political party, according to many sources, is that of a “self-described democratic socialist” acting on behalf of the democratic political party. He was also the founder of the Congressional Democratic Caucus in 1991.  
  • US Senate – In 2006 Bernie Sanders ran for the US Senate and won with ease. He took office in 2007. Bernie Sanders is a determined politician. In 2010 he gave a speech for nearly nine hours about the extension of the Bush tax cut. He was also vocal bout the shut down of the federal government in 2013.
  • Sponsorship – Apart from his public views and opinions, Sanders also sponsors bills and amendments that deal with climate change, veteran’s affair and renewable energy.
  • Bernie Sanders Campaign – Senator Bernie Sanders entered the US presidential race in 2016 and even though Hillary Clinton was perceived as the predictable candidate for the Democrats, he was still popular among the younger Democrats. Bernie Sanders campaign focused mainly on domestic issues such as universal healthcare.
His Personal Life
  • Marriage – Bernie Sanders first marriage lasted for only two years when he married Deborah Shilling in 1964 and got divorced in 1966. In 1988 he married Jane Driscoll, president of Burlington College in Vermont and a Roman Catholic.
  • Children – He has a son, Levi Sanders, with his girlfriend Susan Mott. Levi was born in 1969.  His wife, Jane, bought three children into the union and Sanders took them as his own. He also has seven grandchildren that he loves dearly.
  • Religion - Sanders was raised as an American Jew and his religious observance was limited to the Passover Seders with his neighbors. He said his family were “really pleased to be Jews but they didn’t have a strong believe in God.” He rarily speaks about religion because he said he was not all that religious. However, when asked about his Jewish heritage, he said he was proud to be Jewish. 
  • Quotes – Bernie Sanders has many recorded quotes, such as:
“Finally, let us understand that when we stand together, we will always win. When men and women stand together for justice, we win. When black, white and Hispanic people stand together for justice, we win.”