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Warren was born in 1949 and raised in Oklahoma, where her father worked as a janitor and her mother took a minimum wage job at Sears. She has described growing up "in a paycheck-to-paycheck family" that lived "on the ragged edge of the middle class." Warren first married at age 19 and became an elementary school teacher after graduating from the University of Houston. She began law school at Rutgers University when her daughter was two years old, and she gave birth to a son soon after earning her degree. Warren served as a law professor for three decades, and spent 20 of those years at Harvard Law School. Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton were among her students there. After the 2008 financial collapse, Warren was tapped to lead the congressional oversight panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP. She served as the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the 2010 financial reform law known as Dodd-Frank. In those roles, she became a prominent figure on the national stage and a hero among progressive populists. But her views on the economy garnered plenty of critics within the Republican Party and among Wall Street bankers. Such opposition derailed Obama administration plans to nominate her to officially run the CFPB. Instead, she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and defeated incumbent Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown--her first run at public office. Warren was re-elected in 2018, and announced an exploratory committee for a presidential run Dec. 31. Warren and her second husband, Bruce Mann, have been married for 38 years and have three grandchildren. They live in Cambridge, Massachusetts with their golden retriever, Bailey, who came to her first press conference as a presidential contender.
Warren has built a national brand as an economic populist and an anti-Wall Street crusader. The 69-year-old senator serves on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the Senate, and has also taken on her own party on issues she cares about. In one instance, she helped to derail then-President Obama's nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss to a top position at the Treasury Department in 2015. Fixing a "rigged" economy figures to be central issue of her presidential campaign. "I've spent my career getting to the bottom of why America's promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster," Warren said in a video announcing her presidential exploratory committee. "What I found is terrifying. These aren't cracks that families are falling into. They're traps. America's middle class is under attack. How do we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie and they enlisted politicians to cut them a fatter slice." During a press conference after announcing her exploratory committee, Warren pushed for more accountability in the economy and pledged to go after drug companies. "The problem is Washington works great for those with influence." Warren also came out against political action committees to fund campaigns. "Democrats are the party of the people -- we join together and we fund our campaigns," she told reporters. "We make our campaigns work through the people."
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