There are many famous people with the surname Gupta in India and abroad, but not all of them are related to each other. One such case is that of Vanita Gupta and Sanjay Gupta, two prominent Indian Americans who have made their mark in different fields. Vanita Gupta is the US Associate Attorney General, the third-highest ranking official in the US Justice Department, and a civil rights lawyer. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon, a medical reporter, and a writer. Both of them have been in the news recently for their roles in the Biden administration and the Covid-19 pandemic, respectively. But are they related to each other? The answer is no.
Who is Vanita Gupta?
Vanita Gupta was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Indian immigrant parents. Her father, Rajiv L. Gupta, is a businessman and the chairman of Aptiv, an automotive parts company. Her mother, Kamla Varshney, is a homemaker. Vanita Gupta grew up in different countries, including the UK and France, before returning to Philadelphia. She graduated from Yale University with a BA in history and political science, and from New York University School of Law with a JD.
Vanita Gupta started her legal career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she worked on cases involving racial justice, criminal justice reform, and voting rights. She rose to national prominence after she successfully overturned the wrongful convictions of 35 people, mostly African Americans, who were accused of drug crimes in Tulia, Texas, based on the testimony of a corrupt undercover agent. She later joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a staff attorney and then as the deputy legal director and the director of the Center for Justice.
In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed her as the acting assistant attorney general and the head of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. She was the first woman of color and the first civil rights lawyer to lead this division. She oversaw several high-profile cases involving police misconduct, hate crimes, human trafficking, LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, and fair housing and lending practices. She also worked to build trust and collaboration between law enforcement agencies and community groups.
In 2017, she became the president and chief executive officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 civil rights organizations. She advocated for policies and legislation to protect and advance the rights of marginalized groups in America. In 2021, President Joe Biden nominated her as the associate attorney general, the third-highest ranking official in the US Justice Department. She was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 51 to 49, making her the first Indian American to hold this position.
Who is Sanjay Gupta?
Sanjay Gupta was born in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. His parents were engineers who immigrated from India in the 1960s. His father was born in Muzaffarnagar (now in Uttar Pradesh) and his mother was born in Tharushah (now in Pakistan). They met and married in Livonia, Michigan. Sanjay Gupta has a younger brother named Suneel.
Sanjay Gupta graduated from Novi High School and then from the University of Michigan with a BS in biomedical sciences. He was part of an accelerated medical education program that accepted students directly from high school. He also received his MD from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1993. He completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Michigan Health System and then a fellowship at the Semmes Murphy Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee.
Sanjay Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon who specializes in spine surgery. He is an associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and an associate professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Sanjay Gupta is also a medical reporter and a writer who has been working for CNN since 2001. He is the chief medical correspondent for CNN and hosts several shows and podcasts on health-related topics. He has covered major stories such as the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, the Haiti earthquake, the Ebola outbreak, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. He has won multiple Emmy Awards for his reporting and has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Sanjay Gupta has also written four books: Chasing Life (2007), Cheating Death (2009), Monday Mornings: A Novel (2012), and Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age (2021). He has also appeared as himself in several movies and TV shows, such as Contagion (2011), Monday Mornings (2013), and The Resident (2018).
Vanita Gupta and Sanjay Gupta are both successful and influential Indian Americans who have contributed to the society in different ways. However, they are not related to each other by blood or marriage. They share a common surname, but that does not imply any familial connection. They are both examples of the diversity and excellence of the Indian American community in the US.