Alan Stuart "Al" Franken (born 21 May 1951) was a US Senator from Minnesota (D) from 7 July 2009 with Amy Klobuchar, succeeding Norm Coleman. A former Saturday Night Live writer, comedian, and author, Franken became well-known as a political activist during the 1990s and 2000s, and he became a Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party activist before being elected Senator after a close contest. On 7 December 2017, he announced that he would be resigning as Senator after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct.
Early life and comedy career
Al Franken was born in New York City, New York on 21 May 1951, descended from Jewish immigrants from Germany, Belarus, and Russia. His family moved to Albert Lea, Minnesota when he was just four, and he graduated from Harvard College in 1973 cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in government. Franken was involved in comedy as a political satirist from his time in high school, and he decided to head to Los Angeles in search of work as a comedy writer. Franken and his friend Tom Davis were both hired as the original writers for Saturday Night Live, a comedy show, in 1975. The two of them divided a weekly salary of $350 between them, but they would become rich when the show became famous, and Franken was given three Emmy Awards and seven nominations for his role as a writer and for his occasional appearances in skits.
Author and activist
In 1995, Franken left the show when Norm Macdonald replaced him as the host of the Weekend Update satirical news program skit on SNL, and he became a movie screenwriter and an author. In 2003, he became famous for his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, which became famous due to a Fox News lawsuit over the use of its slogan "Fair and Balanced". He would also become a liberal talk show host, and he became a Democratic Party activist, believing that all children should be born with healthcare, that Social Security should remain in the public sector, and that interest rates on student loans should be cut.
In 2007, Franken departed Air America Radio and announced his candidacy for the US Senate from Minnesota in 2008. He criticized his US Republican Party opponent Norm Coleman for putting Haliburtons and Exxons ahead of working families, and the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsed Franken as their candidate. Franken narrowly won the election, and he won re-election in 2014. Franken became a supporter of single-payer healthcare and proposed that health care companies should pay 80% of their premiums to pay for health care costs, which would save consumers $3,400,000,000 on health care premiums. In November and December 2017, eight women publicly accused Franken of sexual misconduct, including news anchor Leeann Tweeden, who produced a photo showing Franken groping her body armor as she was sleeping during a USO trip, and who claimed that he had aggressively kissed her during a rehearsal for a skit. Several others would accuse him of groping them, and he announced his resignation before the US Senate on 7 December 2017.