Ballot Box

Profile: Al Sharpton

Last week, Slate began a series of short features explaining who the 2004 presidential candidates are, what they’ve said and done, and where they propose to take the country. The first installment summarizes each candidate’s personal and professional background. Today’s subject is Al Sharpton.

Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr.

Web site:

Age: 48 (born Oct. 3, 1954).

Highest grade completed: Three years of college.

Political experience: None.

Previous jobs: Ordained minister since age 9 (1964-present); youth director, Operation Breadbasket (1969-71); founder/director, National Youth Movement (1971-1988); youth organizer for boxing promoter Don King (late 1970s-early 1980s); founder/director, National Action Network (1991-present).

Spouse: Kathy Jordan.

Children: Two teenage daughters.

Previous marriages: None.

Military history: None.Didn’t turn 18 until 1972.

Medical history: None reported.

Parents’ jobs: Father was a contractor; mother was a cleaning woman.

Net worth: Unknown.

Religion: Pentecostal.

Campaign song: A Change Is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke).