At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. House of Representative (1990 to 2006); Professor, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (1989 to 1990);Mayor of Burlington Vermont (1981 to 1989)
- Birthday: September 8, 1941
- Hometown: New York, New York
- Alma Mater: University of Chicago, B.A. 1964
- Spouse: Jane O'Meara Sanders
- Religion: Jewish
- DC Office: 332 Dirksen BuildingWashington, D.C. 20510202-224-5141
- State Offices: 36 Chickering Dr., #103Brattleboro, Vt. 05301802-254-8732; 1 Church St. 2nd FloorBurlington, Vt. 05401802-862-0697
- Web site
Path to Power
Born in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Sanders is the son of a Polish paint salesman who provided his family with a steady but limited income. The financial struggles faced by his family heavily shaped his political views.
Sanders enrolled at Brooklyn College after graduating from high school but transferred to the University of Chicago after a year. He graduated in 1964 and that same year purchased land in Middlesex, Vt., with his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders,.
Sanders is one of the most progressive members of Congress. Though he's an Independent, he voted with Democrats almost 97 percent of the time in the 110th Congress and caucuses with Senate Democrats.
Sanders opposed the authorization of force against Iraq in both 1991 and 2002 and is a strong critic of the USA Patriot Act. He is a strong proponent of a single payer health insurance program and a longtime supporter of veterans' issues. He helped establish clinical trials to study Gulf War Syndrome and has advocated programs that reach out to veterans when they return to the United States.
Sanders' closest political ally on the national scene is his fellow Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D). He is also a close friends with former Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords (I).
The senator has campaigned for the the appointment of his longtime friend, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, to head the Department of Health and Human Services in early 2009.