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.
Booker was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Harrington Park, New Jersey, 20 miles northeast of Newark. Booker graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan before going on to Stanford University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1991 and a master of arts in sociology the following year. After going to Stanford, Booker was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University earning a degree in United States history in 1994 as a member of The Queen's College. He obtained his juris doctor in 1997 from Yale Law School and he operated free legal clinics for low-income residents of New Haven, Connecticut. After graduation, he served as staff attorney for the Urban Justice Center in New York and program coordinator of the Newark Youth Project. In 1998, Booker won an upset victory for a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark. After falling short in his 2002 bid to be Mayor of Newark, he was elected in 2006 and re-elected four years later.
On December 20, 2012, Booker announced that he would explore running for the U.S. Senate seat that was then occupied by Frank Lautenberg in the 2014 election. After Lautenberg's death on June 3, 2013, Booker nnounced his intention to run for Lautenberg's seat in a 2013 special election. On August 13, 2013, Booker was declared the winner of the Democratic primary, with approximately 59% of the vote. On October 16, 2013, he emerged victorious in the special election, becoming the first African-American to be elected to the Senate since Barack Obama in 2014. Booker resigned as Mayor of Newark on October 30, 2013, and was sworn inthe following day as the junior U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker was re-elected in 2014 and 2020. He is the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but suspended his campaign on January 13, 2020 after failing to garner enough support.