Cory Anthony Booker (born April 27, 1969) is the current Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He is a Democratic politician and former Newark Councilman and community activist who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2002 against longtime incumbent Sharpe James. Booker ran again in 2006 and won a sweeping victory against Ronald Rice to become the 36th mayor of Newark.
The son of civil rights activists, Cary and Carolyn Booker, who were among the first African-American executives at IBM, Booker was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the predominantly white, affluent town of Harrington Park in Bergen County, New Jersey. He is an alumnus of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. Booker traveled west to study at Stanford University, where he earned a B.A. in political science in 1991 and an M.A. in sociology the following year. He played varsity football — he made the All–Pacific Ten Academic team; — and was elected to the council of (four) presidents. While he was there, he ran The Bridge, a student-run crisis hotline and organized help for youth in East Palo Alto from Stanford students.
He won a Rhodes Scholarship and studied at The Queen's College, Oxford, where he was awarded an honors degree in modern history in 1994. While at Oxford he became friends with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Rachel Maddow. He became the President of the L'Chaim Society, a Jewish group founded by Boteach, to signify his commitment to end tensions between Jews and African Americans.