Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for the state's at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007. Before his election to Congress, he served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont. He is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, although he has a close relationship with the Democratic Party, having caucused with House and Senate Democrats for most of his congressional career. Sanders unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States in 2016 and 2020, finishing in second place in both campaigns. An advocate of social democratic and progressive policies, Sanders is known for his opposition to economic inequality and neoliberalism. On domestic policy, he supports labor rights, universal and single-payer healthcare, paid parental leave, tuition-free tertiary education, and an ambitious Green New Deal to create jobs addressing climate change. On foreign policy, he supports reducing military spending, pursuing more diplomacy and international cooperation, and putting greater emphasis on labor rights and environmental concerns when negotiating international trade agreements. Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist, supports workplace democracy, and has praised elements of the Nordic model. Some commentators have described his politics as aligned with the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and left-wing populism. Sanders has been credited with influencing a leftward shift in the Democratic Party since his 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders was born into a working-class Jewish family and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. He attended Brooklyn College before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student, he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality as well as for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, he ran unsuccessful third-party political campaigns in the early to mid-1970s. He was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981 as an independent and was reelected three times. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, representing Vermont's at-large congressional district, later co-founding the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He served as a U.S. Representative for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. Sanders was reelected to the Senate in 2012 and 2018. Sanders was a major candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020. Despite initially low expectations, his 2016 campaign generated significant grassroots enthusiasm and funding from small-dollar donors, carrying Sanders to victory against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in 23 primaries and caucuses before he conceded in July. In 2020, Sanders's strong showing in early primaries and caucuses briefly made him the front-runner in a historically large field of Democratic candidates. In April 2020, he conceded the nomination to Joe Biden, who had won a series of decisive victories as the field narrowed. Sanders endorsed Clinton and Biden in their general election campaigns against Donald Trump while continuing his efforts to move the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction.
Political activism. Sanders later described his time in Chicago as "the major period of intellectual ferment in my life." While there, he joined the Young People's Socialist League (the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party of America) and was active in the civil rights movement as a student for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Under his chairmanship, the university chapter of CORE merged with the university chapter of the SNCC. In January 1962, he went to a rally at the University of Chicago administration building to protest university president George Wells Beadle's segregated campus housing policy. At the protest, Sanders said, "We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments". He and 32 other students then entered the building and camped outside the president's office. After weeks of sit-ins, Beadle and the university formed a commission to investigate discrimination. After further protests, the University of Chicago ended racial segregation in private university housing in the summer of 1963.Joan Mahoney, a member of the University of Chicago CORE chapter at the time and a fellow participant in the sit-ins, described Sanders in a 2016 interview as "a swell guy, a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn, but he wasn't terribly charismatic. One of his strengths, though, was his ability to work with a wide group of people, even those he didn't agree with." He once spent a day putting up fliers protesting police brutality, only to notice later that Chicago police had shadowed him and taken them all down. He attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave the "I Have a Dream" speech. That summer, Sanders was fined $25 (equivalent to $209 in 2019) for resisting arrest during a demonstration in Englewood against segregation in Chicago's public schools.In addition to his civil rights activism during the 1960s and 1970s, Sanders was active in several peace and antiwar movements while attending the University of Chicago, becoming a member of the Student Peace Union. He applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War; his application was eventually turned down, by which point he was too old to be drafted. Although he opposed the war, Sanders never criticized those who fought in it, and he has long been a strong supporter of veterans' benefits. He also was briefly an organizer with the United Packinghouse Workers of America while in Chicago. He also worked on the reelection campaign of Leon Despres, a prominent Chicago alderman who was opposed to mayor Richard J. Daley's Democratic Party machine. Throughout his student years, Sanders read the works of many political authors, from Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and John Dewey to Karl Marx and Erich Fromm. Professional history and early years in Vermont. After graduating from college, Sanders returned to New York City, where he worked various jobs, including Head Start teacher, psychiatric aide, and carpenter. In 1968, he moved to Stannard, Vermont, a town small in both area and population (88 residents at the 1970 census) within Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom region, because he had been "captivated by rural life." While there, he worked as a carpenter, filmmaker, and writer who created and sold "radical film strips" and other educational materials to schools. He also wrote several articles for the alternative publication The Vermont Freeman. He lived in the area for several years before moving to the more populous Chittenden County in the mid-1970s. During his 2018 reelection campaign, he returned to the town to hold an event with voters and other candidates. Liberty Union campaigns. Sanders began his electoral political career in 1971 as a member of the Liberty Union Party, which originated in the anti-war movement and the People's Party. He ran as the Liberty Union candidate for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 and as a candidate for U.S. senator in 1972 and 1974. In the 1974 senatorial race, he finished third (5,901 votes; 4%), behind 33-year-old Chittenden County state's attorney Patrick Leahy (D; 70,629 votes; 49%) and two-term incumbent U.S. Representative Dick Mallary (R; 66,223 votes; 46%).The 1976 campaign was the zenith of the Liberty Union's influence, with Sanders collecting 11,317 votes for governor and the party. His strong performance forced the down-ballot races for lieutenant governor and secretary of state to be decided by the state legislature when its vote total prevented either the Republican or Democratic candidate for those offices from garnering a majority of votes. The campaign drained the finances and energy of the Liberty Union, however, and in October 1977, less than a year after the 1976 campaign concluded, he and the Liberty Union candidate for attorney general, Nancy Kaufman, announced their retirement from the party. During the 1980 presidential election Sanders served as one of three electors for the Socialist Workers Party in Vermont.After his resignation from the Liberty Union Party in 1977, Sanders worked as a writer and as the director of the nonprofit American People's Historical Society (APHS). While with the APHS, he produced a 30-minute documentary about American labor leader Eugene V. Debs, who ran for president five times as the Socialist Party candidate.
In 1963, Sanders and Deborah Shiling Messing, whom he met in college, volunteered for several months on the Israeli kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim. They married in 1964 and bought a summer home in Vermont; they had no children and divorced in 1966. His son (and only biological child), Levi Sanders, was born in 1969 to then-girlfriend Susan Campbell Mott.On May 28, 1988, Sanders married Jane O'Meara Driscoll (née Mary Jane O'Meara), who later became president of Burlington College, in Burlington, Vermont. The day after their wedding, the couple visited the Soviet Union as part of an official delegation in his capacity as mayor. They own a row house in Capitol Hill, a house in Burlington's New North End neighborhood, and a lakefront summer home in North Hero. He considers Jane's three children—Dave Driscoll (born 1975), Carina Driscoll (born 1974), and Heather Titus (née Driscoll; 1971)—to be his own. He also has seven grandchildren, three (including one who was adopted) through his son Levi and four through his stepchildren.Sanders's elder brother, Larry, lives in England; he was a Green Party county councillor, representing the East Oxford division on Oxfordshire County Council, until he retired from the council in 2013. Larry ran as a Green Party candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon in the 2015 British general election and came in fifth. Bernie Sanders told CNN, "I owe my brother an enormous amount. It was my brother who actually introduced me to a lot of my ideas." Health. On October 1, 2019, Sanders was hospitalized after experiencing chest pains at a campaign event in Las Vegas. His campaign announced the next day that a blockage had been found in one coronary artery and two stents inserted. Scheduled campaign events and appearances were canceled until further notice. Two days later his campaign released a statement that he had been diagnosed with a heart attack. He was released from the hospital the same day. The statement included the following from Sanders's doctors: After presenting to an outside facility with chest pain, Sen. Sanders was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction. He was immediately transferred to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center. The senator was stable upon arrival and taken immediately to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, at which time two stents were placed in a blocked coronary artery in a timely fashion. All other arteries were normal. His hospital course was uneventful with good expected progress. He was discharged with instructions to follow up with his personal physician. A few days after returning home, Sanders addressed media outside his home and said he had experienced fatigue and chest discomfort for a month or two before the incident; he expressed regret for not seeking medical assessment sooner: "I was dumb."Sanders made his first national appearance after his heart attack on October 15 at the Democratic debate, at which he said, "I'm healthy, I'm feeling great." When asked how he would reassure voters about his health and ability to take on the duties of the presidency, he said, "We are going to be mounting a vigorous campaign all over this country. That is how I think I can reassure the American people." It was noted that he was "lively and sharp at the debate."In December 2019, three months after the heart attack, Sanders released letters from three physicians, Attending Physician of Congress Brian P. Monahan and two cardiologists, who declared Sanders healthy and recovered from his heart condition. Honors and awards. On December 4, 2015, Sanders won Time's 2015 Person of the Year readers' poll with 10.2% of the vote but did not receive the editorial board's award. On March 20, 2016, he was given an honorary Coast Salish name, dxʷshudičup, by Deborah Parker in Seattle to honor his focus on Native American issues during his presidential campaign.On May 30, 2017, Sanders received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Brooklyn College. In popular culture. In December 1987, during his tenure as mayor of Burlington, Sanders recorded a folk album, We Shall Overcome, with 30 Vermont musicians. As he was not a skilled singer, he performed his vocals in a talking blues style. He appeared in a cameo role in the 1988 comedy-drama film Sweet Hearts Dance, playing a man who distributes candy to young trick-or-treaters. In 1999, he acted in the film My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception, playing Rabbi Manny Shevitz. In this role he mourned the Brooklyn Dodgers' move to Los Angeles, reflecting Sanders's own upbringing in Brooklyn. On February 6, 2016, he was a guest star alongside Larry David on Saturday Night Live, playing a Polish immigrant on a steamship that was sinking near the Statue of Liberty. Religion, heritage, and values. As Sanders described his upbringing as an American Jew in a 2016 speech: his father generally attended synagogue only on Yom Kippur; he attended public schools while his mother "chafed" at his yeshiva Sunday schooling at a Hebrew school; and their religious observances were mostly limited to Passover seders with their neighbors. Larry Sanders said of their parents, "They were very pleased to be Jews, but didn't have a strong belief in God." Bernie had a bar mitzvah at the historic Kingsway Jewish Center in Midwood, Brooklyn, where he grew up.In 1963, in cooperation with the Labor Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair, Sanders and his first wife volunteered at Sha'ar HaAmakim, a kibbutz in northern Israel. His motivation for the trip was as much socialistic as it was Zionistic.As mayor of Burlington, Sanders allowed a Chabad public menorah to be placed at city hall, an action the ACLU contested. He publicly inaugurated the Hanukkah menorah and performed the Jewish religious ritual of blessing Hanukkah candles. His early and strong support played a significant role in the now widespread public menorah celebrations around the globe. When asked about his Jewish heritage, Sanders has said that he is "proud to be Jewish."Sanders rarely speaks about religion. He describes himself as "not particularly religious" and "not actively involved" with organized religion. A press package issued by his office states his religion as Jewish. He has said he believes in God, but not necessarily in a traditional way: "I think everyone believes in God in their own ways," he said. "To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together." In October 2015, on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Kimmel asked him, "You say you are culturally Jewish and you don't feel religious; do you believe in God and do you think that's important to the people of the United States?" Sanders replied: I am who I am, and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we're all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe as human beings we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people… and this is not Judaism, this is what Pope Francis is talking about, that we can't just worship billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that. In 2016, he disclosed that he had "very strong religious and spiritual feelings," adding, "My spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me."Sanders does not regularly attend synagogue, and he does not refrain from working on Rosh Hashanah, as observant Jews do. He has attended yahrzeit observances in memory of the deceased, for the father of a friend, and in 2015 attended a Tashlikh, an atonement ceremony, with the mayor of Lynchburg on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah. According to his close friend Richard Sugarman, a professor of religious studies at the University of Vermont, Sanders's Jewish identity is "certainly more ethnic and cultural than religious." Deborah Dash Moore, a Judaic scholar at the University of Michigan, has said that Sanders has a particular type of "ethnic Jewishness that is out of style these days among American Jews." His wife is Roman Catholic, and he has often expressed admiration for Pope Francis, saying that "the leader of the Catholic Church is raising profound issues. It is important that we listen to what he has said." He has said he feels very close to Francis's economic teachings, describing him as "incredibly smart and brave." In April 2016, he accepted an invitation from Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, an aide close to Francis, to speak at a Vatican conference on economic and environmental issues. While at the Vatican, he met briefly with Francis.
Início de Vida
Bernard Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. His father, Elias Ben Yehuda Sanders, was born in Słopnice, Galicia, in Austria-Hungary (now part of Poland), to a Jewish working-class family. In 1921, Elias immigrated to the United States, where he became a paint salesman. Bernard's mother, Dorothy Sanders (née Glassberg), was born in New York City to Jewish immigrant parents from Radzyń Podlaski, in modern-day eastern Poland, and with roots in Russia.Sanders became interested in politics at an early age. He said, "A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932. He won an election, and 50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including six million Jews. So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important." In the 1940s, many of his relatives in German-occupied Poland were murdered in the Holocaust.Sanders lived in Midwood, Brooklyn. He attended elementary school at P.S. 197, where he won a borough championship on the basketball team. He attended Hebrew school in the afternoons, and celebrated his bar mitzvah in 1954. His older brother, Larry, said that during their childhood, the family never lacked for food or clothing, but major purchases, "like curtains or a rug," were not affordable.Sanders attended James Madison High School, where he was captain of the track team and took third place in the New York City indoor one-mile race. In high school, he lost his first election, finishing last out of three candidates for the student body presidency with a campaign that focused on aiding Korean War orphans. Despite the loss he became active in his school's fundraising activities for Korean orphans, including organizing a charity basketball game. Not long after his high school graduation, his mother died at the age of 46. His father died a few years later in 1962, at the age of 57.Sanders studied at Brooklyn College for a year in 1959–1960 before transferring to the University of Chicago and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1964. He has described himself as a mediocre college student because the classroom was "boring and irrelevant," while the community was more important to his education.
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