Andrew Yang is a businessman, lawyer and philanthropist whose entrepreneurial endeavors led him to the new political party Forward.
Born on January 13,1975, in Schenectady, New York, Yang was raised in nearby Westchester County. His parents immigrated from Taiwan as graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s. After graduating from the elite Phillips Exeter Academy in 1992, Yang went to Brown University (1992-1996), studying political science and economics, and later attended law school at Columbia University (1996-1999).
After launching a variety of startups in the early 2000s, Yang eventually became CEO of Manhattan Prep, a test prep company, and later founded the successful nonprofit Ventures for America (VFA) in 2011, which prompted the Obama Administration to name him a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship” in 2015. Yang has penned two books: Smart People Should Build Things (2014) and The War on Normal People (2018).
Yang was a Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 2020. He filed to run for the office on November 6, 2017. He suspended his presidential campaign on February 11, 2020. Yang announced his run for the presidency under the slogan “Make America Think Harder” (MATH) along with his defining policy proposal of Universal Basic Income (UBI), which is a supplemental income offered to American adults to prepare them for the economic challenges incurred by artificial intelligence and automation. Prior to suspending his presidential campaign in February 2020, Yang built a strong digital coalition and attracted a base of loyal supporters called the Yang Gang.
In 2021 Yang changed his voter registration from Democrat to Independent. In a statement about the change, Yang said, “Now that I’m not a member of one party or another, I feel like I can be even more honest about both the system and the people in it…I believe I can reach people who are outside the system more effectively. I feel more . . . independent.” In July 2022 Yang alongside former Democrats, Republicans and Independents formed the new political party Forward.