WATCH: Bernie Sanders in a Minute
Everything You Need To Know About Bernie Sanders
What he does now: U.S. Senator from Vermont, first elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2012. Sanders sits on several committees, including: Environment and Public Works; Energy and Natural Resources; Budget; and Veteran Affairs.
What he used to do: Sanders was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Vermont from 1990 until 2006. Before that, he served as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont for eight years. He also spent time working as a carpenter and filmmaker. In 1979 he made a 26-minute audio documentary on American socialist icon Eugene Debs.
Declared as a candidate: April 30, 2015 in Burlington, Vermont.
In his own words: “I intend to stand up and fight for working families all over the country.”
Claim to fame: He is the longest-serving independent in American Congressional history.
Where he comes from: Born and raised in Brooklyn, he attended James Madison High School — the alma mater of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, among others.
Breakout moment in politics: As a student at the University of Chicago, Sanders became active in the Civil Rights Movement. In high school he lost a bid for student body president.
Favorite kind of music: Folk. He even recorded an album of folk ballads released in 1987.