2014 50 Most Beautiful

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Age: 
45
Relationship Status: 
Unmarried

Cory Booker famously ran into a burning house in 2012 when he was mayor of Newark, N.J., to save a woman from a fire. He rescued a freezing pup from the cold last year. But the newly elected U.S. senator may really have to put his superhero-like abilities to the test for his next mission: getting in shape.

The Garden State Democrat — whose office denied a request for an interview and photo shoot for the Most Beautiful list, saying the lawmaker was simply too busy — told a local news outlet earlier this year, “I ate my way through New Jersey,” in 2013 during his special election race. New Jersey’s 45-year-old junior senator also vowed to get fit.

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It’s a promise Booker made before to Men’s Health magazine. Telling the fitness mag in 2012, “I eat when I’m stressed,” the vegetarian shrunk his waistline by opting for calorie-friendly meals such as egg-white omelets and steamed broccoli for lunch and spinach-and-avocado salads for dinner. The magazine wrote, “He doesn’t sit and talk on the phone. He walks and talks. He does pushups in hotel rooms.”

Booker knows his pitfalls. He once said that he attempted to nix animal products from his life as part of a vegan diet, but it “didn’t last long” because of his deep love of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, specifically the Oatmeal Cookie Crunch flavor. “I don’t let myself eat and watch TV,” he has said, “I lose track of how much I eat at that point.”

But Booker, who played football as a student at Stanford University, also knows how to take care of himself. As mayor, Booker told Dujour magazine, “I had an ex-girlfriend who ruined me in terms of my macho, ex-football-player self — she turned me on to mani-pedis.”

He dished on details of his late-night nail care routine, disclosing, “Being a public figure, people talk smack about you, so I found this 24-hour mani-pedi place and go in the middle of the night. It’s this guilty pleasure I have. Look, manis are good, but pedis — there’s something … transformative.”

There’s no doubt Booker is transforming the way some folks in Washington communicate with their constituents. A prolific tweeter, he boasts nearly 1.5 million Twitter followers. He averages about 22 tweets a day, according to an analysis Time magazine did last year.

A “Star Trek” fanatic who grew up watching the sci-fi series with his dad, Booker reveals he had a major crush on the actress who played the USS Enterprise’s chief communications officer, Nyota Uhura. “[I] would be married now if Nichelle Nichols would remove the restraining order and allow me to propose,” the longtime bachelor quipped.

— Judy Kurtz

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