Despite his status as a grandfather, Sen. Bernie Sanders captured the hearts of young people eager to follow his vision of a new America during his campaigns for president in 2016 and 2020. They related to his claim to democratic socialism, which he said would help the lower and middle classes with the installation of a Franklin Roosevelt-like New Deal.
Sanders envisioned a country where Americans would have a living wage, access to education, healthcare and housing, and enjoy an improved environment. But his message fell short, losing the nominations to more traditional and moderate candidates.
The independent from Vermont is a career politician who has fought for everyday Americans while admonishing the ultra-wealthy. In 2016, he frequently knocked millionaires on the campaign trail. Four years later, his focus shifted to billionaires. Why? Because by the second time around, he had become a millionaire himself.
Here’s a look at Bernie Sanders’ net worth.
Birthdate: Sept. 8, 1941
Net worth: $3 million
Primary source of income: U.S. Senate salary
Career highlights: Mayor of Burlington, Vermont; U.S. representative and senator from Vermont
Bernie Sanders Net Worth: $3 million
Sanders is worth $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and brings in $174,000 a year in salary as a U.S. senator.
He represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate and is an independent, but he ran for the Democratic nomination for president twice: in 2016 and 2020. In 2016, he championed causes that included free college tuition, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, equitable taxes among the socioeconomic classes and a $15 minimum wage, and his message resonated with many — especially millennials — who made small donations to his campaign that added up to nearly $100 million. While his campaign made some inroads against that of frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, he was unable to pick up the nomination and continue what he called his “political revolution.”
In 2020, he ran again, joining a field that didn’t have as clear a favorite as it did four years before. He gained the endorsement of young New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others who were more politically aligned on the left, and the boost helped him to win the New Hampshire primary.
But former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy picked up steam as 2020 unraveled with the COVID-19 pandemic and political divisions giving Americans a yearning to return to the days before President Donald Trump, when Biden served under President Barack Obama. Biden won the South Carolina primary, giving his campaign the jolt of energy it needed, and Sanders again did not win the nomination.
Bernie Sanders’ Start in Politics
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Bernard “Bernie” Sanders is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland. He and his family lived in a modest rent-controlled apartment. Sanders left Brooklyn for the Midwest to study at the University of Chicago. In the early 1960s, Sanders came of age during the civil rights movement and was a student activist who organized sit-ins in opposition to segregation. He was also one of 250,000 people who descended on Washington, D.C., to hear Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in August 1963.
Sanders eventually moved to Vermont and hit the political scene in the 1970s. After failed attempts to win a U.S. Senate seat, Sanders focused his efforts on local government, and in 1981, Sanders won the mayoral race in Burlington, Vermont, by 12 votes. In 1990, Sanders made the jump to national politics and became Vermont’s sole member of the House of Representatives before winning his Senate seat in 2006. Over the past three decades, Sanders has stood up to big pharma, rebuked war, championed the Affordable Care Act and fought for low-income Americans.
He and his wife, Jane, have four children and seven grandchildren. The couple resides in Burlington.
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Erika Giovanetti contributed to the reporting for this article.
Last updated: July 23, 2021