Bernie Sanders' brother Larry on life as a "First Brother" in waiting

OXFORD, England -- Before there was Bernie, there was Larry. Larry Sanders.

"I've become, definitely, a minor celebrity," he told CBS News, chuckling.

Larry is Bernie Sanders' older brother by six years. They've been close from childhood and through life.

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Larry, right, with his brother Bernie Sanders
Larry Sanders

Watching his brother's campaign from a distance, Larry's been surprised by a couple of things -- starting with the name. To Larry, it's never been Bernie. His younger brother has always been Bernard.

Larry has lived in England since 1969, mostly in the university town of Oxford, where he taught and practiced social work.

He's been more than a little bemused at Bernie's -- or Bernard's -- current hip campaign image.

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Larry, left, and Bernie as children
Larry Sanders

"It is amusing," Larry said. "Cool is not the word that comes to my mind."

Dorothy and Elias sanders didn't raise cool children, they raised political ones. Larry, too, has run for office over seas -- he lost badly.

Still, a brother watching from afar can be a useful sounding board for a presidential candidate.

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Larry Sanders
CBS News

"He doesn't say 'How am I doing,'" Larry said of when Bernie calls from across the pond. "He says things like 'It's a hard job,' 'It's going pretty well,' 'I don't know what's going to happen next.'"

Neither does Larry. He hasn't quite placed any bets just yet, or bought a suit for the inauguration.

"I've got a jacket for the interviews, the suit comes next."

Although, he's holding off on placing the order for now.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.