Deborah Shiling bio- First wife of Bernie Sanders

Who is Deborah Shiling?

Deborah Shiling, the elusive wife of the renowned politician, activist, and longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history, Bernie Sanders, has recently been thrust into the limelight. While she prefers to keep a low profile, her husband’s popularity has attracted media attention.

As many may know, Bernie Sanders is a vocal critic of economic inequality and neoliberalism while championing labor rights, free tertiary education, paid parental leave, and universal single-payer healthcare. However, his personal life has not been as successful as his career, having been married to Deborah for only 18 months.

Sanders has moved on with his life and is happily married to someone else. Nonetheless, the attention he has garnered has brought Deborah into the spotlight. As their relationship slowly comes to the surface, let’s take a moment to learn a bit about Bernard’s first wife. To get started, here are some quick facts about Deborah Shiling.

Deborah Shiling Biography
Deborah Shiling Biography

quick facts

Full nameDeborah Shiling
Age79 years old
BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland, USA
Current residenceBaltimore, Maryland, USA
ParentsMoses Shiling
SiblingsNo information
Marital statusMarried
SpouseBob Messing,
Bernie Sanders (1964–1966)
ChildrenNo information
EducationNo information
Net worthUnder review
Social mediaNone

Early life

Deborah Shiling’s childhood is not widely known due to her privacy preference. However, she was born in 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her father, Dr. Moses Shiling, was the chief of pulmonary diseases at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Deborah grew up in a well-educated household, and her father encouraged her to focus on her studies and pursue the career of her choice.

Although we don’t have many details about her childhood, we do know that she attended an unidentified local high school in Baltimore before enrolling at the University of Chicago, where she studied political science.

Growing up, this lady was blessed to have supporting and hard-working parents. They always push Deborah forward to achieve great things in life.

While at university, Deborah was involved in civil rights activism and joined the Congress of Race Equality.

Despite her father’s medical background, she developed a strong interest in politics and social justice, which led her to her eventual career as a buyer at the Hunger Mountain Coop.


Shiling was born to her father, Moses Shiling. The name might ring the bell as he is the chief pulmonary disease doctor at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

Her father was a supportive individual in her life. If it was not for her father, then the success Shiling received in today’s world might have been hard.

Deborah Shiling Photo
Deborah Shiling


Bernie Sanders and Deborah Shiling’s love story dates back to their college days at the University of Chicago, where they first met. They were both politically active and involved in social justice activism, volunteering on the Israeli kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim and participating in the Congress of Race Equality.

After dating for some time, they tied the knot on September 6, 1964, when Bernie was just 23 and Deborah was in her twenties. The couple moved to Middlesex, a small hamlet outside the Vermont capital and Montpelier, and bought an 80-acre property for $2,500.

Despite their early marriage, the couple was confident about starting a family and embarking on their new life together. However, their marriage was short-lived, and after only a year and a half, they decided to end it. They did not have any children.

Bernie has even acknowledged Deborah’s contributions to his political career in his memoir, highlighting her significant impact on his life.

After her brief marriage to Bernie Sanders, Deborah remained single for several years until she met Bob Messing.

They began dating, and their love blossomed over time. Finally, in 1967, they officially tied the knot and became husband and wife. They are blessed to have one child, a daughter born in 1970.

Bob and Deborah have been very private about their personal lives, and very little is known about their marriage or daughter.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders

Bernard Sanders, also known as Bernie Sanders, was born on September 8, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York City. He is now 80 years old as of 2021. Sanders is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Vermont, a position he has held since 2007. Before that, he was the U.S. Representative for Vermont’s at-large congressional district from 1991 until 2007.

Sanders is also known for his presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020. He finished second in both campaigns and gained widespread attention for his progressive policies and speeches. Few people know that during his time as Mayor of Burlington, he even recorded an album called “We Shall Overcome,” featuring 30 Vermont musicians.

In 2020 Bernie became viral and was also one of the main subjects of memes and trolls, thanks to a photo of him sitting in a folding chair wearing patterned mittens and a jacket during Joe Biden’s inauguration. The image quickly went viral and was even used in memes and online trolling.

Sanders has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. In 2015, he was named Person of the Year by Time magazine. In 2016, he was given the Coast Salish name dxʷshudičup by Deborah Parker for his focus on Native American issues during his presidential campaign. In 2017, Brooklyn College awarded him a Doctor of Humane Letters. Bernie Sanders has been a significant political figure for many years, and his contributions to American politics will undoubtedly be remembered for years.

Bob Messing

Bob Messing is the husband of Deborah Shiling Messing, and they have been married since 1967. Bob has been a private person throughout his life, and little is known about his personal or professional life. He has remained out of the spotlight and has not been involved in politics or activism like his wife, Deborah.

The couple has one daughter together. Despite being married to a famous political figure, Bob has preferred to keep his personal life private and out of the public eye.

Deborah Shiling net worth

Although Deborah Shiling Messing’s current net worth is not publicly disclosed, she worked as a buyer for the Hunger Mountain Coop for two decades. The cooperative is a community-owned natural foods cooperative based in Montpelier, Vermont, with 170 employees, 8,000 member-owners, and 500 local vendors.

Social media

This 77-year-old woman spent most of her life without using social media. Until now, she has not been active on any social media platforms.


How old is Deborah Shiling?

The first wife of Bernie Sanders was born in 1944 and will be 77 years in 2021.

Is Deborah Shiling still alive?

Yes, she is still alive and in good shape.

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