Joseph Biden

Active - 2007 - 2019  |   Born - Nov 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States  |   Genres - Culture & Society, History

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Biography by Rovi

A former senator and Vice President, Joe Biden has served the United States for over four decades. Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was born in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania and grew up the eldest of four children in a middle-class, Roman Catholic family. Around age ten, he moved with his family to Claymont, Delaware where he competed on his school's football and basketball teams. After high school, he enrolled at the University of Delaware where he double majored in history and political science. He went on to his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University before moving back to Delaware with his first wife, Neilia Hunter, and three children, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III, Robert Hunter, and Naomi Christina. After being admitted to the Delaware State Bar Association in 1969, Biden practiced law in Wilmington and worked part-time as a public defender. He also moved into politics around this time, winning a seat on the New Castle County Council. In 1972 at age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the U.S. Senate. Tragically, that same year, his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed in a car accident. Now living as a single father, Biden continued his work as an outspoken Democrat in the Senate, calling for campaign finance reform, as well as consumer rights and environmental issues. In 1977, he married high school English teacher Jill Jacobs and together in 1980 they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Ashley. Biden's senatorial career continued an upward trajectory as he led a delegation to Moscow to assist in the ratification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talk-an endeavor spurred by his long-touted interest in nuclear arms control. He was also a ranking member of both the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Biden tested the waters with a handful of early-stage presidential campaigns over the years, but his full transition to the executive branch came in 2008, when he was sworn in as Vice President of Barack Obama. He served alongside the President for eight years, implementing the 2009 economic Recovery Act, the Affordable Care Act, and the Equality Act in support of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2015, in anticipation of the close of President Obama's second term, Biden decided against a run for the presidency, citing his son Beau's tragic death from a brain tumor that year. He continued to work on behalf of climate change, healthcare, immigration, LBGTQ+ rights, and, in January 2017, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. In 2020, Biden made a major return to politics, securing the Democratic nomination for President alongside his Vice Presidential running-mate Kamala Harris.

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Factsheet

  • The oldest of four siblings.
  • Grew up in a Roman Catholic home.
  • Moved to Claymont, Delaware, with his family when he was 10.
  • Played in his high school's football and basketball teams.
  • Was admitted to the Delaware State Bar Association (DSBA) in 1969.
  • In 1972, shortly after being elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi died in a fatal car accident.
  • In 1975, met his second wife Jill Tracy Jacobs on a blind date arranged by his brother.
  • On November 14, 2017, published his memoir Promise Me Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose.
  • From 2009 to 2017, served as Vice President of the United States during the Barack Obama administration.