The Untold Truth of Deborah Shiling, Bernie Sanders’ First Wife

  • Reading time:7 mins read
  • Post category:Biography / Entertainment
  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:August 15, 2023
You are currently viewing The Untold Truth of Deborah Shiling, Bernie Sanders’ First Wife
Spread the love

Deborah Shiling aka (Deborah Shiling Messing) is a former buyer at the Hunger Mountain Coop. She, however, came into the media as the first wife of Bernie Sanders, the veteran senator. The former couple was married for over one and a half years before their divorce.

Bernie, the former presidential candidate has kept details of his first marriage secret from the media for so long. Apparently, Deborah also lives a low-key life.

Well, in this article, we are going to talk in detail regarding every aspect of Deborah’s professional and personal life, including her current marital relationship and many more!

Key Takeaways About Deborah Shiling

  • Deborah was born in 1944 in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • As of 2023, she is 79 years of age.
  • Deborah Shiling spent 20 years of her life in Hunger Mountain Coop.
  • She was married to Bernie Sanders.
  • Mother of a child with her hubby.
  • She has a net worth of $300k.

Where is Deborah Shiling From? Her Age and Early Life

Bernie Sanders’s first wife, Deborah is from Baltimore, Maryland. Deborah, who is three years younger than her ex-hubby was born in 1944. As for her age, Shiling is aged 79. She spent the majority of her early life in Baltimore with her family.

Talking about her nationality, Deborah is an American and belongs to the Caucasian ethnicity.

Full NameDeborah Shiling
Birth Year1944
Birth PlaceBaltimore, Maryland, United States
Height5 feet, 4 inches
Net Worth$300k

Her Father was the Pulmonary Diseases Doctor

Deborah’s father’s name was Moses Shiling. He was the chief doctor of pulmonary diseases at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. However, the information regarding her mother is still behind the closed door.

Professional Career: Spent two decades at the ‘Hunger Mountain Coop’

According to Daily Mail Online, Shiling previously worked for the Hunger Mountain Coop, a ‘20,000 square foot community-owned natural foods cooperative in Montpelier, Vermont. She worked as a buyer for the company for around twenty years.

Deborah Shiling used to work at Hunger Mountain Coop.
Deborah Shiling is a former buyer at Hunger Mountain Coop.
Source: Daily Mail

Talking about the well-known grocery store, it started back in the late 60’ as a pre-order service. At present, the Hunger Mountain Coop has about 170 employees as well as has over 500 local vendors and 8,000 member-owners.

Deborah Shiling is Bernie Sanders’ First Wife: Their Marriage in Detail

The former flames exchanged their vows on 16th September 1964. They organized their wedding ceremony in Deborah’s parents’ garden in Baltimore. Shortly after their nuptials, Deborah and her then-husband Bernie moved to a small hamlet called Middlesex that is nestled outside the Vermont capital of Montpelier.

According to the public record, they plunked down $2,500 for the property on 85 acres of land. In a 2010 published book, ‘The Jews of Capitol Hill,’ Kurt F. Stone wrote in his publication,

“Sanders, his first wife and their son Levi, lived without electricity or running water in a converted sugar house.”

But, in 2016, Deborah revealed in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Online that Levi wasn’t born at that time. She also told that they had sufficient water.

They Divorced After Eighteen Months of Marriage

Deborah and Bernie initially shared a strong bond and also led a happy matrimonial relationship for over a year. Nevertheless, it didn’t sustain for a long and they divorced in 1966, 18 months after their wedding.

Sources reported the now-exes had an amicable separation. Shiling is still a staunch supporter of her ex-spouse. She once said,

“I really don’t want to say much. All I can say is I believe in Bernie Sanders and I am a strong supporter”

Details on their First Meeting

A year before their marriage, Deborah had an encounter with Bernie while they both were at the University of Chicago. Together, they used to volunteer at the Israeli Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim. Sanders studied psychology at the college. He was pretty into protests against racially segregated housing on campus at the time.

Like her man, Deborah was also a civil rights activist and was involved in several social justice issues. She joined the Congress of Race Equality in 1960 and supported numerous sit-ins in segregated restaurants based in Baltimore.

Deborah Shiling Remarried after Divorce? Relationship With Her Second Husband

Although Deborah has remained elusive about her love life after her separation from her first husband, tabloids have found out that Deborah has been married to a new man. And the reported man is Bob Messing. The two married in 1967, a year after her divorce from Sanders. Shiling often describes her second spouse as ‘a poet slash logger slash philosopher’.

The two have been leading a blissful relationship since their marriage without showing any signs of conflict.

Shiling is the Mother of one Child

Deborah Shiling gave birth to her baby girl back in the early 1970s with her second spouse Bob. However, the pair hasn’t talked about their only child, nor has revealed her name.

They now live in a house on a steep hill less than a mile from Montpelier.

By the same token, talking about her ex-spouse Bernie Sanders’s love life, the famed politician is married to Jane O’Meara for over three decades. The two don’t have children of their own, but Jane has three kids Heather, Carina, and David from her previous relationship.

Bernie is married to Jane since 1988.
Bernie along with his second wife.
Source: USA Today

Besides, Sanders has a biological child, a son Levi Sanders, born in 1969 with his ex-girlfriend Susan Campbell Mott.

Is Deborah Shiling Still Alive?

Due to her hush-hush lifestyle, there are no recent updates regarding what is Deborah up to these days. Therefore, many people also started questioning whether Sanders’ ex-wife is still alive or dead?

However, nothing could be said with assertion as of now.

What is Her Net Worth?

According to CelebSuburb Deborah Shiling’s net worth is $300,000. She mostly made her fortune from her long-time association with Hunger Mountain Coop.


Sagar Chand, who goes by Cannon, is a founder at With an aim to cover the life of celebrities, he started the website in 2020 and has been continuously working as an author, editor, and administrator. He has over 6 years of work experience in the entertainment field. Further, he is also one of the Co-Founders at Pandora Group of Companies. Contact: