Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator

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Bernard Sanders

Also Known As: "Bernie Sanders"
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Elias "Eli" Sanders and Dorothy Sanders
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Private
Brother of Lawrence Sanders

Managed by: Michal Hai
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator

Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States senator from Vermont. He was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election.

A member of the Democratic Party since 2015, Sanders had been the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, though his caucusing with the Democrats entitled him to committee assignments and at times gave Democrats a majority. Sanders became the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee in January 2015; he had previously served for two years as chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Sanders was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student he was an active civil rights protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party campaigns for governor and U.S. senator in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington—Vermont's most populous city—in 1981, where he was reelected three times.

In 1990 he was elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1991 Sanders co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was reelected with 71% of the popular vote.

Sanders rose to national prominence following his 2010 filibuster against the proposed extension of the Bush tax cuts. He favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those instituted by the Nordic countries, and has built a reputation as a leading progressive voice on issues such as campaign finance reform, corporate welfare, global warming, income inequality, LGBT rights, parental leave, and universal healthcare. Sanders has long been critical of U.S. foreign policy and was an early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War. He is also outspoken on civil liberties and civil rights, particularly criticizing racial discrimination in the criminal justice system as well as advocating for privacy rights against mass surveillance policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the NSA surveillance programs. . . . continued

2016 presidential campaign

Sanders announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president on April 30, 2015, in an address on the Capitol lawn. His campaign was officially launched on May 26, 2015, in Burlington.. . . continued

Committee assignments

  • Committee on the Budget (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
  • Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy
  • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • Subcommittee on Energy
  • Subcommittee on National Parks
  • Subcommittee on Water and Power
  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • Subcommittee on Children and Families
  • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, ranking member
  • Committee on Veterans' Affairs, chairman


Bernie is the son of Dora/Dorothy (Glassberg) and Eli Sanders. His father was a Polish Jewish immigrant. His mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents.

Bernie’s paternal grandparents were Leon Sander and Ettel “Ethel” Horn.

Bernie’s maternal grandparents were Benjamin Glassberg/Glassburg (the son of Abraham Glassburg) and Brayna “Bessie” Greenberg. Source

Wikipedia says this about his family:

In 1964, Sanders graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He married Deborah Shiling and they bought a summer home in Vermont; they had no children and divorced in 1966. ... His son, Levi Sanders, was born in 1969 to Susan Campbell Mott. In 1988 Sanders married Jane (O'Meara) Driscoll, a former president of Burlington College, in Burlington, Vermont. With her he has three stepchildren, whom he considers his own.

Sanders's brother, Larry Sanders, lives in the United Kingdom. He was a Green Party County Councillor representing the East Oxford division on Oxfordshire County Council, in England, until his retirement in 2013. Larry Sanders ran as a Green Party candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon in the 2015 British general election and came in fifth.

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Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator's Timeline

September 8, 1941
New York, New York, United States