Age:32 years old
Date of Birth:October 13, 1989
Birth Place:The Bronx, New York
Full Name:Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Height:5' 4" (1.63 m)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an American politician who is the Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. The district covers the Eastern part of the Bronx and North-central Queens in New York City. Alexandria is quite close to the people of New York, and it is viewed as the main reason why she upset 10-time incumbent John Crowley in the 2018 midterm election primaries.
Ocasio-Cortez beat Anthony Pappas in the November general election to become the youngest woman to serve in the United States Congress. Alexandria is an excellent speaker with strong ideals that endear her to the people. This piece will look at her personal life. It will focus on her relationship, her experiences growing up, her family, and her religious background.
We can confirm that Alexandria isn’t married, but she is in a serious relationship.
Her partner Riley Roberts is very supportive of her political career
Alexandria and Roberts met during their time in college, and they have been together ever since. They did break up for a while, but they swiftly got back together. Roberts is a web developer, and he doesn’t take an active part in politics. However, he does a lot to ensure that Alexandria is successful.
In 2018, Alexandria and Roberts lived off of his salary after Ocasio-Cortez quit her job to focus on politics. She told The New York Times:
“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real. We’re kind of dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping it gets me to January.”
Roberts might not be directly involved in politics, but he has come under the spotlight several times. In January 2019, Alexandria posted a tweet saying:
“GOP have been losing their mind + frothing at the mouth all week, so this was just a matter of time. There is also a Daily Mail reporter (Ruth Styles) going to my boyfriend’s relative’s homes + offering them cash for ‘stories’. Women in leadership face more scrutiny. Period.”
Riley is so quiet about his relationship with Alexandria, that he is often mistaken for a volunteer rather than her partner. However, Alexandria’s family is not mistaken about Riley’s place in Ocasio-Cortez’s life. Alexandria’s mom told The Daily Mail that she hopes that they will get married soon:
“I love him. He is the most loving, supporting person I’ve seen. He helped her tremendously during the election. They’ve been together four years now, after they reconnected from a college breakup. I know they love children, and they do very well with children from the family. So, I hope they get married soon.”
MIT named an asteroid after her after she impressed during a Science and Engineering Fair
Alexandria was born on 13th October 1989 to Blanca Ocasio-Cortez and Sergio Ocasio. Her father was born into a Puerto-Rican family while her mom was born in Puerto Rico. Alexandria spent the first five years of her life with her family in the Bronx of New York City.
Ocasio-Cortez lived with her extended family in the Bronx, but her father felt that the family needed to move to give Alexandria a chance to go to a better school. Her extended family chipped in, and Alexandria and her family moved to a two-bedroomed house in Yorktown heights.
The move to suburban New York exposed Alexandria to the wealth disparity in New York. She told The Intercept;
“My extended family – my tias, my grandparents, everybody – all chipped in so we could get a down payment on a tiny home 40 minutes north of the Bronx, in a school district that was a little bit better than the one I was born into. It was the reality of my life. That 40-minute drive, from where I went to school to where my family spent their time, kind of told the whole story.”
Alexandria – nicknamed ‘Sandy’ during her high school days – was a brilliant intellectual, especially in the science field. At the age of 17, she emerged second in the Microbiology category during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Her project detailed the effects of anti-oxidants on the lifespan of roundworms. Her science teacher, Michael Blueglass, talked to The New York Times about the town board’s reaction to her project:
“One of the administrators wasn’t there at the beginning and came in after she started, and he said to the superintendent, ‘What company is she from?’ The superintendent said, ‘She’s a 17-year-old senior in our high school.’ She presented herself, verbally, visually, everything as though she was a 30-year-old professional presenter business woman…”
MIT rewarded Alexandria’s efforts by naming an asteroid after her. 23238 Ocasio-Cortez is still floating around in space.
She was involved in a long legal battle to settle her father’s estate
2008 was a difficult year for Alexandria and her family. She was an undergrad student at Boston University when she received news stating that her father was seriously ill. Alexandria took the next flight home to see her ailing dad, who died on 9th September 2008. She spent a week with her family and then flew back to Boston to continue her studies.
She told The Intercept that she didn’t have a lot of time mourn. The tragic event seemed to motivate Alexandria to do better in school. Her grades improved, and she was soon on the Dean’s list. However, the situation at home was not so rosy. The economy’s collapse hit her family hard, and her mom was involved in a probate battle to settle her father’s estate.
Sergio Ocasio hadn’t left behind a will, and the lawyers appointed by the court to administer the estate sought to enrich themselves rather than help the family. Alexandria’s mother had to work two jobs to keep the family afloat, and after graduating, Alexandria started bartending and waitressing to help with the situation.
All the while, bankers were keen on taking Alexandria’s family home. She told The Intercept;
“We just couldn’t afford to keep our home, and we had bankers going up to the curb of our home and taking photos of our house.”
in 2012, Alexandria’s mother and grandmother resorted to selling the home and moving to Florida. For four years, the family had managed to avoid foreclosure, and they got a good price for their house. Alexandria’s family was one of the few in New York who managed to stay afloat during the financial crisis.
She has Jewish ancestry but she doesn’t practice Judaism
Alexandria was born into a Catholic family, but she recently revealed that she has Jewish roots. She stated in December 2018 that her family descended from the Sephardic Jews who resided in Spain in the 1400s. In the late 1400s, the Catholic monarchs ruling Spain ordered everyone to convert to the Catholic faith.
The Jews who didn’t convert fled to countries like France, Israel, Turkey, and Mexico. A small contingent of those Jews landed and settled in Puerto Rico. According to Haaretz, Alexandria said:
“[My family has] been doing a lot of family trees in the last couple of years. And one of the things a lot of people don’t know about Puerto Rico, and something that we discovered ourselves, is that a long time ago, my generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews,”
With time Judaism mixed with other religions in Puerto Rico. She went on to state that people can find unity in their diverse cultures and beliefs. She continued:
“I think it all goes to show that our destinies are tied beyond our understanding, beyond even what we know. And as we learn more and more about the histories of others, our friends and neighbors, we start to uncover what we already know to be true: Your destiny is mine, and my destiny is yours.”