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Sander Levin

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1983
Preceded by William Brodhead

Assumed office 
March 4, 2010
Preceded by Pete Stark

Born September 6, 1931 (1931-09-06) (age 78)
Detroit, Michigan
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Vicki Levin (deceased)
Residence Royal Oak, Michigan
Alma mater University of Chicago, Columbia University, Harvard University
Occupation attorney
Religion Jewish

Sander Martin Levin, sometimes known as Sandy Levin, (born September 6, 1931) is a Democratic U.S. Representative from the 12th Congressional District (map) in Michigan, having served since 1983. He is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The district (numbered as the 17th until 1993) includes many of Detroit's northern and northeastern suburbs, such as Mount Clemens, Southfield, Warren, Sterling Heights, Eastpointe and St. Clair Shores. He is the older brother of U.S. Senator Carl Levin.



Levin was born in Detroit to Bess Levinson and Saul R. Levin. He graduated from Central High School in Detroit, received a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1952, a Master's degree in international relations from Columbia University in 1954, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1957.

After developing a private law practice, Levin served in the Michigan Senate from 1965–1970, and was Senate Minority Leader 1969–1970. He made unsuccessful campaigns for Governor of Michigan in 1970 and 1974, and was a Fellow of the Kennedy School of Politics at Harvard University in 1975. He was assistant administrator of the Agency for International Development, 1977–1981.

In 1982, 17th District Congressman William Brodhead did not run for a fifth term, instead making a unsuccessful run for governor. Levin won the Democratic primary in the district, which at that time was based in Northwest Detroit. He was handily elected in November and has been reelected 12 times. He has only faced serious Republican opposition four times, when 1990s redistricting moved the district out of Detroit and further North into Oakland and Macomb counties. In 1992 and 1994, Levin narrowly defeated businessman and Vietnam War veteran John Pappageorge, who now serves in the State Senate. He had an easier time against Pappageorge in 1996. In 2000, businessman Bart Baron gained the endorsement of the United Auto Workers, but Levin managed to win 64 percent of the vote. The 2000s redistricting made Levin's seat overwhelmingly Democratic, and he has not faced serious competition since.

Levin won a 13th term in 2008 with 72 percent of the vote. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and took over as chairman of the committee on March 4, 2010 when Charles B. Rangel of New York stepped aside in due to a number of ethics violations.[1] Since 2007, Levin has served as chairman of the Trade subcommittee, and he also serves on the Human Resources subcommittee.

His wife of 50 years, Vicki, died on September 4, 2008. They had four children, Jennifer, Andrew, Madeleine, and Matthew, and nine grandchildren, Nathan, Samuel, Jacob, Saul, Seth, Benjamin, Leah, Molly, and Elijah.

Levin comes from a family that has long been prominent in Michigan politics. His younger brother Carl Levin is currently the Senior United States Senator. His uncle, Theodore, was a federal judge. His first cousin, Charles was a Michigan Supreme Court justice, after serving as a Michigan Court of Appeals judge. His first cousin, Joseph Levin, was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. His son, Andy, was the 2006 Democratic candidate for the Michigan Senate in the 13th Senate District, losing in a tight race to John Pappageorge.[1].

Committee assignments


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Brodhead
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 17th congressional district

District eliminated
Preceded by
David Bonior
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th congressional district

1993 – present


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