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U.S. Elections

Joseph Biden, Biography

On November 20, 1942, Joseph Robinette Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as the first child of Joseph and Jean Biden. Later they have three more children.

School years & education

In the summer of 1953 the family moves from Scranton to Brookview neighborhood in Claymont, Delaware, where Joseph Jr. attends the parochial school at St. Helena’s School in Wilmington and later in 1957 enrolled at Archmere Academy in Claymont and graduated in 1961.

Joseph Jr. enrolled at the University of Delaware, Newark, and in 1965 he graduates with a double major in History and Political Science. Thereafter he enrolls in Syracuse University Law School.

On August 27, 1966, still being in Law School, he marries the former Neilia Hunter.

Career and family

In June 1968, after graduating from law school, Joe moves back to Wilmington and begins work as a trial attorney at a law firm in Wilmington, Delaware and serves as a public defender.

On February 3, 1969, Joe and Neilia have their first child, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III. Nearly exactly one year later, on February 4, 1970, their second child, Hunter, is born. Naomi Christiana, their third child is born on November 8, 1971.

In 1970 Joseph enters the political arena and got elected to New Castle County Council. In November 1972 Joseph is elected as Delaware's U.S. Senator, beating an incumbent Republican. At age 29, Joe was the 5th-youngest U.S. Senator ever.

On December 18, 1972, tragedy hits the family. Joe's wife and three children are in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping. Neilia and Naomi suffer fatal injuries, while Beau and Hunter are critically injured but will make full recoveries.

Joseph was planning to resign from the office. On January 5, 1973, after consistent lobbying by Hubert Humphrey and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield urging him not to resign, Joe is sworn in to the United States Senate at Beau and Hunter's hospital bedside in Wilmington, Delaware.

In January 1975, he becomes a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he later chairs.

On June 17, 1977, Joseph marries Jill Tracy Jacobs, a school teacher. The couple will have a daughter, Ashley, on June 8, 1981.

In January 1977 he becomes a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he later chairs from 1987 to 1994. One year later in November 1978 he wins the re-election to U.S. Senate. He will be re-elected in November 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002.

On June 9, 1987, Joseph Biden announces candidacy for the 1988 Democratic Nomination for President of the United States but drops out of the race in an early stage.

On February 11, 1988, two cranial aneurysms are diagnosed in Joe's brain and he undergoes successful emergency surgery.

In September 1991, Biden begins teaching constitutional law as an adjunct professor at Widener University Law School.

On January 31, 2007, Joseph Biden announces his bid for the 2008 Democratic Nomination for President of the United States but will again drop out of the race in an early stage.

On August 1, 2007, he released his memoir, "Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics."

On August 23, 2008, Barack Obama announced Joseph Biden as his running mate for the presidential election 2008.


He is married to Dr. Jill Biden, the former Jill Jacobs, an educator in Delaware's schools for over twenty years. She currently is a professor teaching at Delaware Technical Community College.

Senator Biden is the father of three children: Beau, Hunter and Ashley. Beau serves as Delaware's Attorney General, Ashley is a social worker and Hunter is a lawyer. The Bidens also have five grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel, Natalie, and Robert Hunter.

Joseph 'Joe' Biden, 2008
Joseph 'Joe' Biden



Document Information
Source: biden.senate.gov; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20080917
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