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Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The longest-serving independent in congressional history, he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and has caucused with the Democratic Party since, which has entitled him to congressional committee assignments and at times given Democrats a majority. A self-described democratic socialist and a New Deal-era American progressive, Sanders is pro-labor and emphasizes reversing economic inequality. Many scholars consider his views to be more in line with social democracy. Sanders was born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party campaigns for Governor and U.S. Senator in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected Mayor of Burlington—the state's most populous city—in 1981, by a margin of ten votes. He went on to be reelected as mayor three times. In 1990, he was elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus in 1991. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was reelected with 71% of the popular vote. Sanders announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on April 30, 2015. Initially considered a long shot, Sanders won 23 primaries and caucuses and approximately 43% of pledged delegates to Hillary Clinton's 55%. His campaign was noted for its supporters' enthusiasm, as well as for his rejection of large donations from corporations, the financial industry, and any associated Super PAC. On July 12, 2016, Sanders formally endorsed Clinton in her unsuccessful general election campaign against Republican Donald Trump, while urging his supporters to continue the "political revolution" his campaign had begun. Sanders has built a reputation as a leading progressive voice on issues such as campaign finance reform, corporate welfare, global warming, income inequality, LGBT rights, parental leave, free education, and universal healthcare. Sanders has long been critical of U.S. foreign policy and was an early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War, the First Gulf War, and U.S. support for the Contras in Nicaragua. He has also been outspoken on civil liberties and civil rights, criticizing racial discrimination in the criminal justice system as well as advocating for privacy rights against mass surveillance policies such as the Patriot Act and the NSA surveillance programs. Wikipedia