Cory Anthony Booker (born April 27, 1969) is an American politician, attorney, and author who has served as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, Booker is the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He was previously the 38th Mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. Before that time, Booker served on the Municipal Council of Newark for the Central Ward from 1998 to 2002.
Booker was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Harrington Park, New Jersey. He attended Stanford University receiving a BA in 1991 and then a master's degree a year later. He studied abroad at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship before attending Yale Law School. He won an upset victory for a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark in 1998 where he staged a 10-day hunger strike and briefly lived in a tent to draw attention to urban development issues in the city. He ran for mayor in 2002 but lost to incumbent Sharpe James. He ran again in 2006 and won against deputy mayor Ronald Rice. Booker's first term saw the doubling of affordable housing under development and the reduction of the city budget deficit from $180 million to $73 million. He was re-elected in 2010. He ran against Steve Lonegan in the 2013 U.S. Senate special election and subsequently won reelection in 2014 against Jeff Bell.
Throughout his Senate tenure he has written, sponsored, and passed legislation advancing women's rights, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and single-payer healthcare. He has pushed for economic reforms to address wealth inequality in the U.S., particularly the racial wealth gap. Booker has pursued measures to reform the criminal justice system, combat climate change, and restructure national immigration policy. In foreign policy, he has voted successfully for tougher sanctions against Iran, voiced support for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and lobbied for increased diplomacy in the Middle East. He was the first senator to ever testify against another senator during Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions's 2017 confirmation hearing. Booker was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.