Who is Andrew Yang? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate

 

Editor's note: This story is part of PolitiFact’s ongoing coverage of the 2020 campaign; these reports will be updated as the campaign continues. For more candidate profiles and fact-checking, go to www.politifact.com/2020/

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s signature policy idea is to give every American a guaranteed $1,000 a month. Formally, the policy is a universal basic income, but Yang calls it the "Freedom Dividend," and it has distinguished him as a candidate who was recently unknown in the political sphere.

Yang introduced the "Freedom Dividend" when he announced his candidacy to the New York Times in 2018. "I believe that universal basic income is necessary for capitalism to continue," he said.

An entrepreneur and a son of Taiwanese immigrants, Yang says he grew up believing in the American Dream.

Some critics say Yang’s plan for a universal basic income will cost too much. Fox News host Laura Ingraham said the policy could disincentivize a diligent work ethic. Others criticize Yang’s lack of political experience, because he’s never held public office.

Yang also wants to address the threat of artificial intelligence on jobs and push the nation toward a "human-centered capitalism" that prioritizes people over money.  

Yang, originally from upstate New York, studied economics at Brown University and law at the Columbia Law School before establishing himself as an entrepreneur. In 2011, he founded Venture for America, a company that offers entrepreneurial fellowships to college graduates. Yang served as CEO of the company before stepping down in 2017.

Name: Andrew Yang

Current occupation: Entrepreneur

Party: Democratic

Federal offices: None.

State and local offices: None.

Private sector work: Venture for America CEO, Manhattan Prep GMAT CEO

Military: None.

Books authored/co-authored: "The War on Normal People," 2018; "Smart People Should Build Things," 2014.

Education: B.A., Brown University, 1996; J.D. Columbia Law School, 1999.

Birth date: January 13, 1975.

Personal life: Yang has two children with his wife Evelyn.

Religion: Christian

Top issues: Universal basic income, "human-centered capitalism."

Endorsements: No major endorsements.

Major donors: Yang has promised to receive no corporate PAC donations.

Miscellaneous: Yang’s supporters refer to themselves on social media and in campaign posters as the "Yang Gang."

Other coverage: Interview on "The Ingraham Angle," May 2019;  CNN Town hall, April 2019; Interview with The Root, April 2019; New York Times profile, February 2018; PolitiFact file

Campaign website: https://www.yang2020.com