162 Facts About Bernie Sanders


Bernard Sanders was born on September8,1941 and is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from Vermont, a seat he has held since 2007.


Bernie Sanders was the US representative for the state's at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007.


Bernie Sanders has a close relationship with the Democratic Party, having caucused with House and Senate Democrats for most of his congressional career.


Bernie Sanders unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for president of the United States in 2016 and 2020, finishing in second place in both campaigns.


Bernie Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981 as an independent and was reelected three times.


Bernie Sanders won election to the US House of Representatives in 1990, representing Vermont's at-large congressional district, later co-founding the Congressional Progressive Caucus.


Bernie Sanders served as a US representative for 16 years before being elected to the US Senate in 2006, notably becoming the first non-Republican elected to the seat in 152 years.


Bernie Sanders was reelected to the Senate in 2012 and 2018.


Bernie Sanders chaired the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee from 2013 to 2015 and the Senate Budget Committee from 2021 to 2023.


Bernie Sanders was a major candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020.


Bernie Sanders supported both Clinton and Biden in their respective general election campaigns against Donald Trump.


Bernie Sanders is credited with influencing a leftward shift in the Democratic Party after his 2016 presidential campaign.


Bernard Bernie Sanders was born on September 8,1941, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.


Elias Bernie Sanders immigrated to the United States in 1921 and became a paint salesman.


Bernie Sanders says he became interested in politics at an early age due to his family background.


Bernie Sanders attended Hebrew school in the afternoons, and celebrated his bar mitzvah in 1954.


Bernie 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.


Bernie Sanders's father died two years later in 1962 at age 57.


In later interviews, Bernie Sanders described himself as a mediocre college student because the classroom was "boring and irrelevant", and said he viewed community activism as more important to his education.


At the protest, Bernie Sanders said, "We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments".


Bernie Sanders attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr.


That summer, Bernie Sanders was fined $25 for resisting arrest during a demonstration in Englewood against segregation in Chicago's public schools.


Bernie Sanders 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.


Bernie Sanders was briefly an organizer with the United Packinghouse Workers of America while in Chicago.


Bernie Sanders wrote several articles for the alternative publication The Vermont Freeman.


Bernie Sanders lived in the area for several years before moving to the more populous Chittenden County in the mid-1970s.


Bernie Sanders began his electoral political career in 1971 as a member of the Liberty Union Party, a national umbrella party for various socialist-oriented state parties, originating in the anti-war movement and the People's Party.


Bernie Sanders ran as the Liberty Union candidate for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 and as a candidate in the special election for US senator in 1972 and in the general election in 1974.


The 1976 campaign was the zenith of the Liberty Union's influence, with Bernie Sanders collecting 11,317 votes for governor and the party.


On November 8,1980, Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for mayor.


Bernie Sanders castigated the pro-development incumbent as an ally of prominent shopping center developer Antonio Pomerleau, while Paquette warned of ruin for Burlington if Bernie Sanders were elected.


The Bernie Sanders campaign was bolstered by a wave of optimistic volunteers as well as a series of endorsements from university professors, social welfare agencies, and the police union.


Bernie Sanders formed a coalition between independents and the Citizens Party.


Bernie Sanders was reelected, defeating Judy Stephany and James Gilson.


Bernie Sanders initially considered not seeking a third term, but announced on December 5,1984, that he would run.


On December 1,1986, Bernie Sanders, who had finished third in the 1986 Vermont gubernatorial election, announced that he would seek reelection to a fourth term as mayor of Burlington, despite close associates stating that he was tired of being mayor.


Bernie Sanders said he would not seek another mayoral term after the 1987 election: "eight years is enough and I think it is time for new leadership, which does exist within the coalition, to come up".


Bernie Sanders went on to lecture in political science at Harvard Kennedy School that year and at Hamilton College in 1991.


Bernie Sanders ran under the slogan "Burlington is not for sale" and successfully supported a plan that redeveloped the waterfront area into a mixed-use district featuring housing, parks, and public spaces.


Bernie Sanders was a consistent critic of US foreign policy in Latin America throughout the 1980s.


Sanders hosted and produced a public-access television program, Bernie Speaks with the Community, from 1986 to 1988.


Bernie Sanders collaborated with 30 Vermont musicians to record a folk album, We Shall Overcome, in 1987.


When Bernie Sanders left office in 1989, Bouricius, a member of the Burlington city council, said that Bernie Sanders had "changed the entire nature of politics in Burlington and in the state of Vermont".


Bernie Sanders was the first independent elected to the US House of Representatives since Frazier Reams of Ohio won his second term in 1952, as well as the first socialist elected to the House since Vito Marcantonio, from the American Labor Party, who won his last term in 1948.


Concerned by high breast cancer rates in Vermont, on February 7,1992, Bernie Sanders sponsored the Cancer Registries Amendment Act to establish cancer registries to collect data on cancer.


Bernie Sanders voted against the bill four more times in the 1990s, explaining his Vermont constituents saw waiting-period mandates as more appropriately a state than federal matter.


Bernie Sanders has at times favored stronger law enforcement and sentencing.


In 2005, Bernie Sanders voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.


Bernie Sanders voted against the resolutions authorizing the use of force against Iraq in 1991 and 2002, and he opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


Bernie Sanders voted for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists that has been cited as the legal justification for controversial military actions since the September 11 attacks.


Bernie Sanders especially opposed the Bush administration's decision to start a war unilaterally.


In February 2005, Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would have withdrawn the permanent normal trade relations status that had been extended to China in October 2000.


Bernie Sanders said to the House, "Anyone who takes an objective look at our trade policy with China must conclude that it is an absolute failure and needs to be fundamentally overhauled", citing the American jobs being lost to overseas competitors.


Bernie Sanders's bill received 71 co-sponsors but was not sent to the floor for a vote.


Bernie Sanders entered the race for the US Senate on April 21,2005, after Senator Jim Jeffords announced that he would not seek a fourth term.


Bernie Sanders was endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Democratic National Committee chair and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.


Bernie Sanders entered into an agreement with the Democratic Party, much as he had as a congressman, to be listed in their primary but to decline the nomination should he win, which he did.


Mr Bernie Sanders has largely found ways to press his agenda through appending small provisions to the larger bills of others.


Bernie Sanders was not satisfied with the bill, calling it only a small step forward.


In 2008 and 2009, Bernie Sanders voted against the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a program to purchase toxic banking assets and provide loans to banks that were in free-fall.


On December 10,2010, Bernie Sanders delivered an 8 hour and 34 minute speech against the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which proposed extending the Bush-era tax rates.


Bernie Sanders argued that the legislation would favor the wealthiest Americans.


In 2016, Bernie Sanders voted for the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which included proposals for a reformed audit of the Federal Reserve System.


Bernie Sanders supported the sanctions on Russia, but voted against the bill because he believed the sanctions could endanger the Iran nuclear deal.


In 2018, Bernie Sanders sponsored a bill and was joined by Senators Chris Murphy and Mike Lee to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution to end US support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties and "millions more suffering from starvation and disease".


In 2007, Bernie Sanders helped kill a bill introducing comprehensive immigration reform, arguing that its guest-worker program would depress wages for American workers.


On September 5,2018, Bernie Sanders partnered with Ro Khanna to introduce the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act, which would require large corporations to pay for the food stamps and Medicaid benefits that their employees receive, relieving the burden on taxpayers.


On June 9,2014, Bernie Sanders sponsored the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs in the wake of the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014.


Bernie Sanders worked with Senator John McCain, who co-sponsored the bill.


Bernie Sanders's bill was incorporated into the House version of the bill, which passed both chambers on July 31,2014, and was signed into law by President Obama on August 7,2014.


Bernie Sanders objected to Senate Republicans' use of the nuclear option to "choke off debate and ram [Gorsuch's] nomination through the Senate".


Bernie Sanders voted against Gorsuch's confirmation as an associate justice, and against Trump's nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.


In 2022, Bernie Sanders voted to confirm Joe Biden's nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.


Bernie Sanders became the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee in 2015 and the chair in 2021; he previously chaired the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee for two years.


Bernie Sanders appointed economics professor Stephanie Kelton, a modern monetary theory scholar, as the chief economic adviser for the committee's Democratic minority and presented a report about helping "rebuild the disappearing middle class" that included proposals to raise the minimum wage, boost infrastructure spending, and increase Social Security payments.


Bernie Sanders was only the third senator from Vermont to caucus with the Democrats, after Jeffords and Leahy.


Bernie Sanders ranked third in 2014 and first in both 2015 and 2016.


Bernie Sanders added that if no progressive candidate ran, he might feel compelled to do so himself.


Bernie Sanders announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president on April 30,2015.


Bernie Sanders's campaign was noted for its supporters' enthusiasm, as well as for rejecting large donations from corporations, the financial industry, and any associated Super PAC.


On July 12,2016, Bernie Sanders formally endorsed Clinton in her unsuccessful general election campaign against Republican Donald Trump, while urging his supporters to continue the "political revolution" his campaign had begun.


Unlike the other major candidates, Bernie Sanders did not pursue funding through a Super PAC or from wealthy donors, instead focusing on small-dollar donations.


Bernie Sanders used social media to help his campaign gain momentum, posting content to online platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and answering questions on Reddit.


When Clinton and Bernie Sanders made public appearances within days of each other in Des Moines, Iowa, he drew larger crowds, even though he had already made many stops around the state and Clinton's visit was her first in 2015.


In February 2016, both the Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns agreed in principle to holding four more debates for a total of ten.


Some Bernie Sanders supporters raised concerns that publications such as The New York Times minimized coverage of the Bernie Sanders campaign in favor of other candidates, especially Trump and Clinton.


Studies concluded that the tone of media coverage of Bernie Sanders was more favorable than that of any other candidate, whereas his main opponent in the democratic primary, Hillary Clinton, received the most negative coverage of any candidate.


Bernie Sanders was in Phoenix, Arizona, on that date, speaking to a rally larger than any of the others, yet his speech was not mentioned, let alone broadcast.


Bernie Sanders said he would continue to work with the Democratic National Convention organizers to implement progressive positions.


Bernie Sanders spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on July 25, during which he gave Clinton his full support.


Some of his supporters attempted to protest Clinton's nomination and booed when Bernie Sanders called for party unity.


Bernie Sanders received more votes in Vermont than Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, and Jill Stein, the Green candidate, combined.


In February 2017, he began webcasting The Bernie Sanders Show on Facebook live streaming.


Bernie Sanders rejected the investigation's conclusion, saying that he had seen no evidence that Russians had helped his campaign.


Bernie Sanders later said that his campaign had taken action to prevent Russian meddling in the election and that a campaign staffer had alerted the Clinton campaign.


Analysts have suggested that Bernie Sanders's campaign shifted both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party politically leftward.


On February 19,2019, Bernie Sanders announced that he would seek the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination for president.


Bernie Sanders had declined the Vermont Democratic Party nomination for US Senate in 2006,2012, and 2018, which caused an unsuccessful legal challenge to his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.


In September 2019, the Bernie Sanders campaign became the fastest in US history to reach one million donors.


From mid-February 2020 to the start of March, Bernie Sanders polled in first place in the Democratic primary ahead of Joe Biden and was described by the press as the party's presidential front-runner.


Bernie Sanders announced that he was suspending his campaign on April 8,2020.


Bernie Sanders stated that he would remain on the ballot in the remaining states and continue to accumulate delegates with the goal of influencing the Democratic Party's platform.


Bernie Sanders is a strong critic of contemporary neoliberal capitalism, which he calls "uber-capitalism", blaming it for such societal ills as declining life expectancy and rising diseases of despair.


Bernie Sanders supports lowering the cost of drugs by reforming patent laws to allow cheaper generic versions to be sold in the US Bernie Sanders supported the Affordable Care Act, though he said it did not go far enough.


Bernie Sanders calls for substantial investment in infrastructure, with energy efficiency, sustainability, and job creation as prominent goals.


Bernie Sanders considers climate change the greatest threat to national security.


Bernie Sanders said that family planning can help fight climate change.


Bernie Sanders focuses on economic issues such as income and wealth inequality, poverty, raising the minimum wage, universal healthcare, cancelling all student debt, making public colleges and universities tuition-free by taxing financial transactions, and expanding Social Security benefits by eliminating the cap on the payroll tax on all incomes above $250,000.


Bernie Sanders has become a prominent supporter of laws requiring companies to give their workers parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time, noting that such laws have been adopted by nearly all other developed countries.


Bernie Sanders has called them a "disaster for the American worker", saying that they have resulted in American corporations moving abroad.


Bernie Sanders's proposal was voted down by most Democrats and all Republicans in the Senate.


Bernie Sanders supports reducing military spending while pursuing more diplomacy and international cooperation.


Bernie Sanders opposed funding Nicaraguan rebels, known as contras, in the CIA's covert war against Nicaragua's leftist government.


Bernie Sanders opposed the US invasion of Iraq and has criticized a number of policies instituted during the War on Terror, particularly that of mass surveillance and the USA Patriot Act.


Bernie Sanders criticized Israel's actions during the 2014 Gaza war and US involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.


Bernie Sanders criticized the January 2020 drone assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, calling it a dangerous escalation of tensions that could lead to an expensive war.


Bernie Sanders emphasized the consequences associated with global economic inequality and climate change, and urged reining in the use of US military power, saying it "must always be a last resort".


Bernie Sanders criticized US support for "murderous regimes" during the Cold War, such as those in Iran, Chile and El Salvador, and said that those actions continue to make the US less safe.


Bernie Sanders spoke critically of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections and the way President Trump has handled the crisis.


Bernie Sanders supports closing the "gun show loophole", banning assault weapons, and passing and enforcing universal federal background checks for gun purchases.


Bernie Sanders considers himself a feminist, is pro-choice on abortion, and opposes defunding Planned Parenthood.


Bernie Sanders has long advocated for LGBT rights; in 2009, he supported legalizing same-sex marriage in Vermont.


Bernie Sanders has denounced institutional racism and called for criminal justice reform to reduce the number of people in prison, advocates a crackdown on police brutality, and supports abolishing private, for-profit prisons and the death penalty.


Bernie Sanders has advocated for greater democratic participation by citizens, campaign finance reform, and a constitutional amendment or judicial decision that would overturn Citizens United v FEC.


Bernie Sanders criticized President Trump for appointing multiple billionaires to his cabinet.


Bernie Sanders criticized Trump's rolling back President Obama's Clean Power Plan, noting the scientifically reported effect on climate change of human activity and citing Trump's calling those reports a hoax.


Bernie Sanders gave an online reply to Trump's January 2018 State of the Union address in which he called Trump "compulsively dishonest" and criticized him for initiating "a looming immigration crisis" by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.


Bernie Sanders voted to convict Trump on both articles of his first impeachment trial in 2020, and again on the sole article of his second impeachment trial in 2021.


Bernie Sanders influenced the environmental policy goals of the Biden administration as described before Biden's nomination.


On February 23,2021, Bernie Sanders became the first senator in the Democratic caucus to oppose one of Biden's cabinet picks when he voted against Tom Vilsack's confirmation as Agriculture Secretary, citing concerns about Vilsack's past work as a lobbyist and ties to large corporations.


Bernie Sanders strongly supported Senate Democrats' decision to use budget reconciliation, a procedure used to avoid filibusters, to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, despite having criticized Republicans' use of reconciliation to pass the 2017 tax cuts.


Bernie Sanders has continued to have a strong influence on the Biden administration.


Bernie Sanders wants to be a champion of working families, and I admire that and respect that.


Bernie Sanders pointed to John Fetterman's successful campaign as a model for future Democratic efforts, saying that Fetterman had "strongly identified with the working class" during the Pennsylvania election.


Bernie Sanders joined Vermont's Liberty Union Party in 1971 and was a candidate for several offices, never coming close to winning election.


Bernie Sanders became party chairman, but quit in 1977 to become an independent.


In 1981, Bernie Sanders ran as an independent for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and defeated the Democratic incumbent; he was reelected three times.


Bernie Sanders attended the 1983 conference of the Socialist Party USA where he gave a speech.


Bernie Sanders first ran for the US House of Representatives in 1988 and for the US Senate in 2006, each time adopting a strategy of winning the Democratic Party primary, thereby eliminating Democratic challengers, and then running as an independent in the general election.


Bernie Sanders continued this strategy through his reelection in the 2018 United States Senate election in Vermont.


Bernie Sanders caucused with Democrats in the House while refusing to join the party, and continues to caucus with Democrats in the Senate.


In October 2017, Bernie Sanders said he would run for reelection as an independent in 2018 despite pressure to run as a Democrat.


Bernie Sanders's party status became ambiguous again in March 2019 when he signed a formal "loyalty pledge" to the Democratic Party stating that he was a member of the party and would serve as a Democrat if elected president.


Bernie Sanders signed the pledge the day after he signed paperwork to run as an independent for reelection to the Senate in 2024.


Bernie Sanders is one of three independents in the Senate, the others being Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, and Kyrsten Sinema.


Bernie Sanders's son, Levi Sanders, was born in 1969 to then-girlfriend Susan Campbell Mott.


On May 28,1988, Bernie Sanders married Jane O'Meara Driscoll, who later became president of Burlington College, in Burlington, Vermont.


Bernie 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.


On October 1,2019, Bernie Sanders was hospitalized after experiencing chest pains at a campaign event in Las Vegas.


Bernie Sanders's campaign announced the next day that a blockage had been found in one coronary artery and two stents inserted.


Bernie Sanders was released from the hospital the same day.


Bernie Sanders was immediately transferred to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center.


Bernie Sanders was discharged with instructions to follow up with his personal physician.


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.


On May 30,2017, Bernie Sanders received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Brooklyn College.


Bernie Sanders publicly inaugurated the Hanukkah menorah and performed the Jewish religious ritual of blessing Hanukkah candles.


Bernie Sanders describes himself as "not particularly religious" and "not actively involved" with organized religion.


Bernie Sanders 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.


Bernie Sanders 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.


In December 1987, during his tenure as mayor of Burlington, Bernie Sanders recorded a folk album, We Shall Overcome, with 30 Vermont musicians.


In 2021, a frame from the inauguration of Joe Biden showing Bernie Sanders seated in a folding chair wearing patterned mittens and a jacket reminiscent of the one in the "I am asking" meme went viral, with the image captioned or edited into other images, most commonly popular movie scenes.


Bernie Sanders 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.