Jane Sanders is the loving and supportive political spouse of Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders. Her 76-year-old husband is known for being the the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history.
Jane’s husband was born Bernard Sanders on September 8, 1941; the son of Jewish immigrants attended Brooklyn’s James Madison High School and then went on to Brooklyn College. After a year there, he transferred to the University of Chicago. He graduated college in 1964 with a degree in political science.
Bernie began his political career as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the early ’80s. He served four terms as the leader of Vermont’s biggest city from 1981 to 1989. Sanders then moved on to the national political arena by winning a seat in the House of Representatives. From 1991 to 2007, he distinguished himself as one of the country’s few independent legislators. In 2007, Sanders won election to the U.S. Senate and was reelected in 2012. He announced his plans to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2015.
For nearly three decades, Bernie has had the support of his loving wife, Jane Sanders. Meet her below.
#1 Jane Sanders is a Brooklyn native
Mary Jane O’Meara was born January 3, 1950 in Brooklyn. She grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn and was raised by parents Bernadette Joan (Sheridan) and Benedict P. O’Meara –along with four siblings.
#2 Jane Sanders is a career woman
Jane is an Academic and social worker. She attended the University of Tennessee, but received her social work degree from Goddard College.
She has a Ph.D from Union Institute & University and was a Director of Youth Services for Burlington, Vermont from 1981-1991. She also worked for the Burlington Police Department and as a community organizer. She served as the president of Burlington College from 2004 to 2011.
#3 Jane is Bernie’s second wife
In 1964 Bernie Sanders married his college sweetheart Deborah Shiling, but the couple divorced two years later in 1966 and had no children.
#4 She was previously married too
Before her marriage to Bernie Sanders, she was married to Dave Driscoll, with whom she had three kids. Jane is said to have dropped out of University of Tennessee to move back to Brooklyn with her first husband.
#5 The couple was together for several years before tying the knot
Bernie and Jane were together for seven years before they married in 1988. The two were married in a civil ceremony and “honeymooned” in the Soviet Union. Jane and Bernie traveled with 10 others from Burlington to seal the tie to Yaroslavl, leaving the day after their wedding.
#6 Bernie and Jane Sanders have no children of their own
After his divorce from first wife, Bernie fathered a son with girlfriend Susan Mott, Levi Sanders was born in 1969. While, Jane is the mother of three children form her first marriage: Carina, Heather, and David.
#7 She has been described by her husband as one of his key advisors throughout his career.
The wife and mom, Jane Sanders served as an advisor to her husband during his 2016 presidential campaign, where he competed with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.