Sanders was born on September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn, NY. His father was a Polish immigrant who came to the US at age 17.
In 1962, Sanders, as an officer for the Congress of Racial Equality, led students in a several-week-long sit-in to oppose segregation in University of Chicago campus housing. He was arrested when the police came to call him an outside agitator for putting up flyers around the city detailing police brutality against African Americans. He also worked as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1963, taking a bus with fellow activists to Washington, D.C. to hear Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
In 1981, Sanders won the mayoral election of Burlington, Vermont by ten votes, running as independent and defeating the previous, six-term local mayor.
In 1990, Sanders won the race to be Vermont’s sole congressman. He was the first independent to be elected into the U.S. House of Representatives in 40 years.
In 2001, Sanders voted against the USA Patriot Act.
In 2002, Sanders voted against the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq.
In 2006, Sanders defeated Vermont’s richest man, Rich Tarrant, to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 2010, Sanders put a provision to expand federally qualified community health centers into the Affordable Care Act.
On May 26, 2015, in Burlington, Vermont, Sanders formally announced his 2016 presidential run.