Elizabeth Warren says she “came up the hard way…out of a hard-working middle class family in an America that created opportunities for kids like me.” She has made her life’s work fighting for middle class families. The <em>Boston Globe</em> calls her “… the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks.” <em>TIME</em> magazine has called her a “New Sheriff of Wall Street” and has twice included her among America’s 100 most influential people. She’s taken on big banks and financial institutions to win historic new financial protections for middle class families.
Elizabeth learned first-hand about the economic pressures facing middle class families. When she was twelve, her dad suffered a heart attack. The store where he worked changed his job and cut his pay, and the medical bills piled up. The family lost their car, and her mom went to work answering phones at Sears to pay the mortgage.
Elizabeth got her first job at nine, babysitting for a family across the street from her house. She started waiting tables at 13 at her Aunt Alice’s Mexican restaurant. All three of her brothers served in the military. She got married at 19, and after graduating from college, started teaching in elementary school. Her first baby, a daughter Amelia, was born when Elizabeth was 22.
When Amelia was two, Elizabeth started law school. Shortly after she graduated, her son Alex was born. She practiced law out of her living room, but she soon returned to teaching. Elizabeth has been a law professor at Harvard for nearly 20 years and has written nine books, including two national best-sellers, and more than a hundred articles. National Law Journal named her one of the Most Influential Lawyers of the Decade, and she has been honored by the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association with the Lelia J. Robinson Award.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Elizabeth served as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Her independent and tireless efforts to protect taxpayers, to hold Wall Street accountable, and to ensure tough oversight of both the Bush and Obama Administrations won praise from both sides of the aisle. The Boston Globe named Elizabeth Bostonian of the Year in 2009 for her oversight efforts.
She is widely credited for the original thinking, political courage, and relentless persistence that led to the creation of a new consumer financial protection agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She led the establishment of the agency, building the structure and organization to hold accountable even trillion-dollar financial institutions and to protect consumers from financial tricks and traps often hidden in mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.
Elizabeth and her husband Bruce Mann, who was born and grew up in the Boston area, have been married for 31 years and now have three grandchildren. They live in Cambridge with their golden retriever, Otis.