| Michael Bennet |
(politician, US/2020 Presidential election/Candidate)
|Born||November 28, 1964)|
New Delhi, India
|Alma mater||Wesleyan University, Yale Law School|
|Member of||American Council on Germany/Young Leaders/1997|
Michael Farrand Bennet is an American businessman, lawyer, and politician serving as the senior United States senator from Colorado, a seat he has held since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, he was appointed to the seat when Senator Ken Salazar became Secretary of the Interior. Bennet previously worked as a managing director for the Anschutz Investment Company, chief of staff to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, and superintendent of Denver Public Schools.
Early in his career, Bennet worked for Ohio governor Richard Celeste. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, worked as a law clerk, and was counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General during the Bill Clinton administration.
Bennet became superintendent of the Denver public school system in July 2005. In late 2008 it was speculated he would be a candidate for United States Secretary of Education under Barack Obama. He was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar when Salazar became Secretary of the Interior in January 2009. Bennet was elected in the 2010 Senate election, defeating Republican Ken Buck. He chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for the 2014 cycle and was reelected to the Senate in 2016.
On May 2, 2019, Bennet announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. He dropped out of the race on February 11, 2020 after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary.
Early life and education
Bennet was born in New Delhi, India. His mother is Susanne Christine Bennet (née Klejman), a retired elementary school librarian and Jewish Holocaust survivor who was born in 1938 in Warsaw, Poland, and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1950. Her parents survived imprisonment in the Warsaw Ghetto. His father is Douglas J. Bennet, who was born in New Jersey, a Christian who was an aide to Chester Bowles, then the U.S. ambassador to India. Douglas Bennet ran the United States Agency for International Development under President Jimmy Carter, served as president and the CEO of National Public Radio (1983–93), and as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs in the Clinton administration (1993–95). His grandfather Douglas Bennet was an economic adviser in Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration.
Bennet grew up in Washington, D.C.; his father served as an aide to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, among other politicians. He was held back in second grade because of his dyslexia. He enrolled at St. Albans School, an elite all-boys preparatory school, and served as a page on Capitol Hill.
In 1987, Bennet earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from Wesleyan University, the alma mater of his father and grandfather. At Wesleyan he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. Bennet earned his J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.