Professional Background Information
Born in 1941, politician Bernie Sanders started out his political career as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the early '80s. He served four terms as the leader of Vermont's biggest city from 1981 to 1989. Sanders then moved on to the national political arena by winning a seat in the House of Representatives. From 1991 to 2007, he distinguished himself as one of the country's few independent legislators. In 2007, Sanders won election to the U.S. Senate and was reelected in 2012. He announced his plans to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2015.
Independent politician Bernie Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in New York. He grew up in Brooklyn as the youngest of two sons of Jewish immigrants from Poland. His father worked as a paint salesman. As part of a struggling working-class family, Sanders recognized early on America's economic disparity. As he told the Guardian newspaper, "I saw unfairness. That was the major inspiration in my politics," he said. Sanders also counts American socialist leader Eugene V. Debs as an important influence."It was a question for me of just basic justice — the fact that it was not acceptable in America at that point that you had large numbers of African-Americans who couldn't vote, who couldn't eat in a restaurant, whose kids were going to segregated schools, who couldn't get hotel accommodations living in segregated housing," he told the Burlington Free Press. "That was clearly a major American injustice and something that had to be dealt with." During the Vietnam War, Sanders had applied for conscientious objector status. Although his status was eventually rejected, by then he was too old to be drafted.