Bernard Sanders was born September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY. He attended elementary school at P.S. 197, where he won a state championship on the basketball team. He attended Hebrew school in the afternoons and had his bar mitzvah in 1954. Sanders later attended James Madison High School, where he was captain of the track team. Sanders went to Brooklyn College for a year before transferring to the University of Chicago where graduated with a degree in political science in 1964.
Sanders began his political career in 1971 as a member of the Liberty Union Party, which originated in the anti-war and people's party movement. He ran as the Liberty Union candidate for governor in 1972 and 1976 and as a candidate for senator in 1972 and 1974. In 1981, Sanders ran for mayor of Burlington and defeated six-term Democratic incumbent Gordon Paquette by 10 votes in a four-way contest. He won three additional terms, defeating both Democratic and Republican candidates in successive elections.
In 1988, Sanders ran for Vermont's at-large congressional district, but was defeated. He ran for the seat again in 1990 and won as the first independent elected to the US House in 40 years. Sanders entered the race for the U.S. Senate on April 21, 2005, after Senator Jim Jeffords announced that he would not seek a fourth term. In the most expensive political campaign in Vermont's history, Sanders defeated businessman Rich Tarrant by an approximately 2-to-1 margin.
Sanders announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president on April 30, 2015, and officially launched his campaign on May 26th.
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