Sanders, Bernie (Bernard Sanders), 1941–, American politician, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. The son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, he spent a year at Brooklyn College and graduated from the Univ. of Chicago (B.A., 1964). He moved to Vermont in 1964. A sometime journalist, carpenter, writer, and filmmaker, he taught at Harvard (1989) and Hamilton College (1989–90). Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in the early 1970s and for Vermont governor in 1972, 1976, and 1986. First elected mayor of Burlington in 1980, he proved to be popular and effective. In 1990 he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first socialist to serve in that body since the 1920s. Officially considered an independent, Sanders was elected (2006) to the Senate, where he has generally espoused liberal and progressive positions while assiduously avoiding the label of Democrat.
See his Outsider in the House (1997); studies by G. Guma (1989), W. J. Conroy (1990), S. Soifer (1991), and S. Rosenfeld (1992).
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