Bernie "The Bern" Sanders United States Presidential Candidate

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Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is an Independent Senator from Vermont, who ran in the Democratic primary for President in the 2016 election.

Early Life

Bernard Sanders was born on September 8, 1941. His parents had an older son as well, named Larry. His father was named Elias Ben Yehuda Sanders, and his mother was named Dorothy Glassberg.

Elias was born in 1904 in Austria-Hungary and emigrated to the United States in 1921. Dorothy was born in 1912 in New York. The couple had two children, Larry and Bernie. The Sanders brothers attended public school in Brooklyn, New York. The family practiced the Jewish faith, sending Bernie and Larry to Hebrew school in afternoons and throwing both boys Bar Mitzvahs.

As a child, Bernie participated in sports, and in high school was captain of the track team. Sanders graduated from James Madison High School in New York in 1959.

After high school, Bernie Sanders studied political science at the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 1964.

Personal Life

Following his college graduation, Sanders married Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964. They were married for a couple of years, and divorced in 1966.

In 1969, Bernie Sanders had a son named Levi. Bernie was not married to Levi’s mother, Susan Campbell Mott.

Then in 1988, Bernie Sanders married Jane O’Meara. Jane Sanders brought three children from a prior marriage, whom Bernie has been said to consider his own. They are named Dave, Carina, and Heather.

Bernie Sanders has seven grandchildren.

Over the years Bernie Sanders has participated in a variety of entertainment endeavors. In the 1980s he recorded an album, providing spoken vocals. He has guest starred in a couple of films and on Saturday Night Live.


Once he graduated from college, Bernie Sanders worked a variety of jobs. He worked as a writer, a preschool teacher, and filmmaker. The job that he held most frequently was that of carpenter and writer.

Bernie Sanders has written several books, some of which have been given second printings. He is the author of Outsider in the White House, The Speech: On Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution, and Where We Go From Here.

Bernie Sanders has lived in Vermont for most of his adult life following college. He and his wife, Jane, own two homes in Vermont and also a home in Washington.

Political Party Affiliation

Bernie Sanders was part of the Liberty Union Party from 1971-1979. The Liberty Union Party is a party within the state of Vermont. It supports a democratic socialist platform.

In 1979, Sanders registered as an Independent.

In 2015, Bernie Sanders became a Democrat, so as to participate in the Democratic presidential primary.

In 2017, Sanders returned to his Independent voter registration.

Political Career

Bernie Sanders participated as a candidate for many elections during his early years with the Liberty Union party.

In 1972 and 1976, Bernie Sanders ran for Governor of Vermont as the Liberty Union party candidate. He did not win those races.

In 1972 and 1974, Bernie Sanders ran for Senator from Vermont as the Liberty Union party candidate. He did not win those races, but in 1974 he did come in third place with just under 6,000 votes. The winner of that race was current Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who received a little more than 70,000 votes.

In 1980, Bernie Sanders ran for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. He won that race and served as Mayor from 1981 until 1989. In the 1980 election, Sanders defeated the incumbent Mayor by only ten votes. Bernie Sanders was re-elected Mayor of Burlington in 1983, 1985, and 1987.

In 1986, Bernie Sanders again ran for Governor of Vermont. He came in third in that race and ran as an Independent.

In 1988, Bernie Sanders ran for Congress from Vermont and lost the race. In 1990 he ran again and won a seat in the US House of Representatives. He ran as an Independent. Sanders won re-election to his Congressional seat in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2004.

In 2006, Bernie Sanders ran for the Senate from Vermont and won. He ran as an Independent. Sanders was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.

Bernie Sanders ran in the Democratic primary for the 2016 Presidential election. He lost the primary to Hillary Clinton, who became the Democratic nominee.

As Mayor of Burlington, Sanders was recognized as one of America’s best Mayors. Burlington was the first city in the United States to enact community trust housing due to Sanders’ leadership. Burlington also attracted a minor league baseball team during his time as Mayor, and they did a lot of revitalizations in the downtown area as well.

In the US House of Representatives and Senate, Bernie Sanders helped begin the House Progressive Caucus. Eventually, he began caucasing with the Democrats. Some of his main issues of focus were banking reform and other economic issues, such as increasing the minimum wage. Some of his most well-known votes are his opposition to the use of force in Iraq in 1991 and 2002, as well as against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Presidential Aspirations and Candidacy

Bernie Sanders ran for President in 2016. He changed his party affiliation from Independent to Democrat in order to participate in the Democratic primary.

Sanders garnered a great deal of support in the Democratic primary, and stayed in the race until nearly the end of the primary season. He was ultimately defeated by Hillary Clinton after he had won several caucuses and some primaries, but it wasn’t enough to secure the nomination. Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. Donald Trump was the Republican nominee and won the 2016 general election.

Bernie Sanders has not officially announced whether he would pursue the presidency in 2020. In May 2018, however, Sanders was reported to be considering it.

Bernie Sanders is widely credited with bringing more Socialist ideas to the Democratic platform. He is regarded as a progressive leader for economic justice and other issues, and these were cornerstones of his 2016 Presidential campaign.