Raised in a wealthy suburb, this New Jersey native received degrees from Stanford, Oxford and Yale Law School. Then, his life took an unexpected turn. He gave up a high-paying corporate job to run for mayor of Newark, New Jersey—a small city with a high crime rate.
Despite his relentless pursuit, he lost the first election. Then, four years later, he ran again and won. On July 11, 2006, Cory Booker became the 36th mayor of Newark.
"I feel like this is my calling," he says. "How lucky is it in life to be able to wake up in the morning and feel like you're doing what you were meant to do, with people who inspire you every single day?"
Unlike most politicians, Mayor Booker doesn't live in a big house in an exclusive neighborhood. He calls one of Newark's poorest housing projects home.