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Bernie Sanders's Biography

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Early Life

Bernie Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Eli a Polish immigrant and paint salesman; and Dorothy. He has an older brother, Larry.

Bernie Sanders studied at James Madison High School, Brooklyn College, and the University of Chicago. After a spell in a Kibbutz, he moved to Vermont.

In the 1970s, he started to actively pursue his interest in left wing politics.

He joined the anti-Vietnam War Liberty Union Party (LU) in Vermont.

Political Career

Representing LU, he lost his campaigns for the Senate in 1972 and 1974, and for Governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976, never gaining more than 6% of the vote.

Meanwhile he made documentaries including a short film about Eugene Debs, a union leader who was a six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist party.

In 1981, Bernie Sanders was elected as mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, winning by just 10 votes.

Sanders served as mayor until 1989.

In 1990, Bernie Sanders defeated the incumbent Peter Smith to become the first Independent elected to Congress in 40 years. He would go on to be the longest-serving Independent in the history of the House of Representatives.

In November 2006, Bernie Sanders was elected to the Senate defeating Vermont’s richest man, Rich Tarrant. He ran as an Independent but was endorsed by the Democratic Party.

In 2011, The Guardian ran an article, in which Sanders explained why he was not interested in running for Presidency:

"I would likely end up causing a right-wing extremist to be president of the United States. That is not something I would be happy to do. It would likely be a futile and losing campaign. That would not be too smart."

To add context to the quote Sanders appeared to be talking in terms of running as an Independent.

In 2012, he was re-elected as Senator and in December of that year he became chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Democratic Nomination

On 26 May 2015, Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for President of the United States.

Initially he was well behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination but on 9 February 2016, his campaign appeared to be gaining momentum when he won the New Hampshire primary by a huge margin.

In the end however, in spite of a surprisingly succesful campaign, Sanders was forced to concede the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton and on 12 July 2016, he appeared with Mrs Clinton at a campaign event in New Hampshire and endorsed her.

Similarly, in April 2020, Bernie Sanders ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination after he had fallen behind Joe Biden.

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