Larry Sanders (politician)

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Larry Sanders
Larry Sanders Oxford Community Hospital (cropped).JPG
Green Party Spokesperson for Health
Assumed office
11 February 2016
Preceded byJillian Creasy
Member of the Oxfordshire County Council
In office
Personal details
Lawrence Sanders

(1935-04-25) 25 April 1935 (age 83)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Political party
Other political
Democratic (U.S.)
Spouse(s)Margaret (died 1983)
Domestic partnerJanet Hall (since 1998)
RelativesBernie Sanders (brother)
Alma mater

Lawrence Sanders (born 25 April 1935)[1][2] is an American-born British academic, social worker, and Health Spokesperson of the Green Party of England and Wales. Sanders is the older brother of United States Senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Larry Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (née Glassberg) and Eli Sanders.[3][4] Sanders' father was a Jewish immigrant whose family was killed in the Holocaust,[3][5][6] while his mother was born in New York City, to Jewish immigrant parents, on 2 October 1912.[7][8][9] His father Eli – born in Słopnice, Galicia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now part of modern-day Poland) on 19 September 1904[10] – emigrated from his birthplace to America in 1921 aged 17,[11][12] and supported his family by selling paint.[13] Sanders describes his childhood as his family never lacking for food or clothing, but major purchases, "like curtains or a rug", being difficult to afford.[13] Sanders' mother died in June 1959 at the age of 46.[6] Sanders' father later died on 4 August 1962, at the age of 57.[10] Both he and his younger brother attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn.[14] Sanders described both of them as post-World War II, young Jewish radicals, but were part of the crowd, not yet leaders.[15]

Sanders attended Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and obtained a master's degree in social work from the University of Oxford.[16]

Sanders immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1968[17] or 1969.[18][19] He became a university lecturer at the University of West London, then at Oxford in the department of social administration.[20]

His son, Jacob Edward "Jake" Sanders (born 26 November 1968), was elected to Oxford City Council in 2000, and was a Green Party parliamentary candidate in the Oxford East constituency at the 2005 general election.

Political career[edit]

Sanders was active in the Labour Party in Oxford in the 1980s.[20] He left the Labour Party in 2001 because he felt that it had moved too far to the right under the leadership of Tony Blair, and defected to the Green Party as a result.[21]

First elected in 2005, Sanders was a Green Party county councillor representing the East Oxford division in the Oxfordshire County Council, until he retired from the Council in 2013.[22][23] His main focuses in county politics were social and health care services. He resigned from the board of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust in October 2005 in a principled stand amid concerns that proposed cuts to services would leave vulnerable patients at greater risk.[citation needed]

He became Chairman of the Oxford Community School's Board of Governors in September 2009, following the resignation of the previous chairman, Chris Ballinger, and six other board members.[24] In December of the same year, the Department for Children, Schools and Families approved an application by Oxfordshire County Council to disband the Board of Governors and replace them with an interim executive board. On hearing the decision, Sanders stated that he was "dreadfully disappointed".[25]

Sanders ran as a Green Party candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon at the 2015 UK general election and finished in fifth place, receiving 2,497 votes, or 4.4% of the overall vote.[19][26]

In February 2016, he was appointed Health Spokesperson of the Green Party of England and Wales.[27]

Sanders was elected as a pledged delegate for Bernie Sanders to the 2016 Democratic National Convention at the Democrats Abroad Global Convention in Berlin in May 2016. He tearfully spoke at the convention on 26 July of his intention to cast his vote for his brother.[28]

Sanders was selected as the Green Party candidate for the Witney by-election following former Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation as an MP in September 2016.[29] He finished in fourth place with 1,363 votes (3.54%).[30] Sanders was selected to contest the Oxford East constituency at the 2017 snap general election. However, he was not elected, and finished in fourth place with 1,785 votes and a 3.3% share of the vote. [31]


  1. ^ Glenza, Jessica (12 October 2015). "Bernie and Larry Sanders: candidate's brother crosses Atlantic to watch debate". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  2. ^ "1940 United States Federal Census". NARA/ 2 April 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b Leibovich, Mark (21 January 2007). "The Socialist Senator". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  4. ^ Theis, Paul Anthony; Henshaw, Edmund Lee, eds. (1991). Who's Who in American Politics. 2. Bowker. Retrieved 4 December 2013 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Kelly, Amita (29 April 2015). "5 Things You Should Know About Bernie Sanders". NPR. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b Stone, Kurt (2010). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Scarecrow Press. p. 483.
  7. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole (28 April 2015). "OnPolitics: 6 things to know about Bernie Sanders". USA Today. Archived from the original on 27 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  8. ^ van Zuylen-Wood, Simon (21 June 2014). "I'm Right and Everybody Else Is Wrong. Clear About That?". National Journal. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Dorothy Glassberg". Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Eli Sanders". Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  11. ^ Chana, Jas (20 August 2015). "Straight Outta Brooklyn, by Way of Vermont: The Bernie Sanders Story". Tablet. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Bernie Sanders' ancestral town in Poland kvells over his Iowa performance". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Nicola (17 January 2016). "Bernie ropes in British brother for showdown with Clinton". Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  14. ^ Stein, Ellin.Growing Up With The Bern, Slate, 4 February 2016. Accessed 11 February 2016.
  15. ^ Roberson, Dana (5 November 2015). "Meet Larry Sanders, Bernie's Big Brother". The Takeaway. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  16. ^ Kelley, Kevin J. "Larry Sanders on Stickball and Breaking Bread in Brooklyn".
  17. ^ Sanchez, Rafe (30 April 2015). "'I'm running for Parliament but my brother is running for President'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  18. ^ "County councillor's brother elected to US Senate". The Oxford Times. Newsquest Media Group. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  19. ^ a b Hansen, Lauren (8 May 2015). "Bernie Sanders' brother lost his longshot bid for British Parliament". The Week. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  20. ^ a b "The Sanders brothers: A tale of two underdogs". BBC News.
  21. ^ Kelly, Kevin (27 May 2015). "Bernie's Bro: Working-Class Brooklyn Roots Shaped My Brother". Seven Days. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Election results for East Oxford". Oxfordshire County Council. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Green County Councillor Retires". Oxfordshire Green Party. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  24. ^ Bardsley, Francesca (2 October 2009). "Fight for control at Oxford School". The Oxford Times. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  25. ^ Bardsley, Fran (15 December 2009). "Board ousting 'is a stitch-up'". The Oxford Times. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  26. ^ Collinson, Stephen (7 May 2015). "Bernie Sanders' brotherly love". CNN. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  27. ^ Stone, Jon (11 February 2016). "Bernie Sanders' British brother Larry Sanders appointed UK Green Party's health spokesperson". Independent (newspaper). Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  28. ^ Prokop, Andrew (26 July 2016). "Bernie Sanders's brother gave a tearful tribute to Bernie and their parents at the DNC". VOX. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  29. ^ "Tories select barrister for Cameron's Witney seat". BBC News. 22 September 2016.
  30. ^ Craig, Jon (21 October 2016). "Conservatives hold Cameron's old seat in Witney by-election". Sky News. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Larry Sanders pledges to tackle inequality if he becomes Oxford East MP". Oxford Mail.

External links[edit]