Best Known For
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is best known for his unorthodox approach to politics, for his revolutionizing reforms to Newark's crime rate and education, and for his personal willingness to help his constituents.
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Cory Booker was born on April 27, 1969, in Washington, D.C., to affluent civil rights activists. He attended prestigious schools, including Stanford University and Yale Law School, and went on to become a politician in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Vowing to reduce the crime rate there and improve education and city services, Booker was elected mayor of Newark and made many of the changes he promised. An avid user of social media, particularly Twitter,
"We will make a city hall that truly serves the people who live there."
“If you want someone in Washington that plays by the same old rules, you should find someone else."
Booker became known as the second most social mayor in the country. He also made headlines for saving a woman from a burning house, shoveling an elderly man's snow-covered driveway and bringing some $100 million in private philanthropy to Newark.
Before Cory Anthony Booker became one of America's most well-known mayors, he was just a regular high school football star. He was born on April 27, 1969, in Washington D.C., to civil rights activists Cary Alfred and Carolyn Rose Booker, who were among the first black executives at IBM. They raised booker in a predominantly white, affluent town in New Jersey, where he would later serve as mayor.
Booker attended Stanford University, where he received a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in sociology. In addition to playing varsity football, Booker served as senior class president and ran a student-run crisis hotline. Upon his graduation from Stanford, Booker was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford.
He also attended Yale Law School, where he received his Juris Doctor and operated free legal clinics for low-income residents of New Haven. Despite his busy schedule, Booker made time to get involved in the National Black Law Students Association and in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, serving as a Big Brother.
Booker took an interest in local politics—particularly the Newark City Council—and ran against and defeated four-term City Council incumbent George Branch. To call attention to the city's drug dealing and violence problems, Booker went on a 10-day hunger strike and lived in a tent near the drug dealing areas. He became known as an advocate of education reform and for proposing Council initiatives regarding City Hall transparency, where he was regularly outvoted 8-1.
But Booker was not discouraged. In fact, instead of running for re-election, he took his ambitions a step further and ran for the mayoral seat again longtime incumbent Sharpe James. During his campaign, his opponent's supporters called Booker a carpetbagger and said he was "not black enough" to understand the city; Booker lost the election and instead finished out his Council term in 2002.
Following his loss, Booker began investing his time in establishing nonprofit organizations aimed to provide Newark residents with resources and services to better their communities, including Newark Now, and was making headlines. He ran for the mayoral seat again in 2006 and won. Booker's tough campaign and promises to battle crime angered several Bloods gang leaders in four New Jersey state prisons: They plotted his assassination, which was then foiled by state investigators.
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