Joe Biden served as the 47th Vice President of the United States from 2009-2017, under President Barack Obama.
Joseph Robinette Biden was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Now commonly referred to as Joe Biden, he was named after his father. Joe Biden's parents were Catherine Eugenia Finnegan and Joseph Robinette Biden Sr., and told they had four children, including Biden. The Bidens had three sons and one daughter. Joe Biden was the eldest sibling.
The family lived in Scranton until 1953, when they moved to Delaware. In school, Joe Biden enjoyed football and played the position of wide receiver. When he was both a junior and senior in high school, he was elected class president.
After graduating high school in 1961, Biden attended college at the University of Delaware and graduated in 1965 with majors in Political Science and History. Next, Biden attended law school at Syracuse University College of Law, and he graduated in 1968.
In 1966, Joe Biden married Neilia Hunter. Together, the couple had three children: Joseph Robinette Biden III "Beau" born in 1969, Robert Hunter Biden born in 1970, and Naomi Christina Biden in 1971.
In 1972, the Biden family experienced a terrible tragedy. Joe Biden's wife Neilia and their three children were out Christmas shopping, when their car was involved in a crash. A tractor-trailer struck the Biden car, and both Neilia and their baby daughter Naomi were killed. The two sons were taken to the hospital but survived.
In 1977, Biden remarried. He married Jill Jacobs, who was a teacher. Jill Biden is well-educated, and she holds a Bachelors degree, two Masters degrees, and one Doctorate degree. Joe and Jill Biden have one child together. Their daughter Ashley Blazer Biden was born in 1981.
After graduating from law school, Joe Biden worked in the field of law. Originally he clerked at a law firm. Following that job, he became a public defender. Finally, he worked at one more law firm before starting his own firm. During this time, he also worked as a property manager to earn more money. Biden's law career was relatively short, because he began focusing on his political career in the early 1970s.
Political Party Affiliation
In 1968, Joe Biden registered as an Independent. Then in 1969, he registered as a Democrat.
Joe Biden's political affiliation early on seemed to mirror the affiliation of his professional colleagues. When he registered as an Independent, he worked for an active Republican. However, Biden was displeased by Richard Nixon's politics so chose to register as Independent instead. When he registered as a Democrat, he was working for an active Democrat. Politics and professional life at that time were deeply entwined. Biden felt at home in the Democratic Party, and has maintained his affiliation with the Democrats since 1969.
Joe Biden first won elected office in 1969. In that race, he ran for the New Castle County Council. Biden won that race handedly, even though he ran as a Democrat and the seat had traditionally been held by Republicans. While continuing his private law practice, Joe Biden served on the New Castle County Council from 1970 until 1972.
Then, Joe Biden ran for the United States Senate in Delaware. He challenged Republican incumbent J. Caleb Boggs. Early on, it did not seem that Biden had much of a chance of winning against the incumbent, who had a great deal of support. Several months before the election, polls showed Biden behind by 30 points.
Biden's campaign was managed by his sister Valerie, and other family members worked on the campaign as well. Much of the campaign was devoted to door to door voter contact, since their funds were extremely limited. Biden has credited the success of this approach to the small size of the district.
Joe Biden won that election by just over 3,000 votes, in a very surprising victory. He almost resigned shortly thereafter, due to the death of his wife and daughter. But he was convinced to stay, and did so. However, he commuted home every single day on the train, so he could be home for his sons.
Biden was the sixth-youngest United States Senator in history, having reached his 30th birthday just before he began service. Age 30 is the minimum age for United States Senators.
Joe Biden served as a Senator from Delaware from 1973 until 2009.
Presidential Aspirations and Candidacy
Joe Biden first ran for President in 1988. He originally did very well in the primary race, leading the other candidates in funds raised from the beginning. Later there were questions about his representation of his record and the authenticity of a speech he had given. So, Biden dropped out of the Democratic primary in September 1988. The ultimate victor of the Democratic primary was Michael Dukakis. Dukakis was defeated by George H.W. Bush.
Joe Biden ran for President a second time in 2008, again vying for the Democratic nomination. Facing steep competition from Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Joe Biden did not see much success in this race.
In August 2008, Biden was officially named as the pick for Vice President by Barack Obama's campaign after Obama won the primary. Biden accepted, and continued campaigning with Obama the rest of the 2008 election season. The Obama-Biden ticket ultimately prevailed in the 2008 election, opposed by the Republican ticket of late Senator John McCain and former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.
In 2012, the pair ran for re-election and again secured the offices. They were challenged by the Republican ticket of Senator Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan.
Joe Biden has long been seen as an expert when it comes to national security, based on his experience in the Senate and later as Vice President.
In 2016, Joe Biden decided not to seek the nomination for President by the Democratic party. Biden's son, Joe had died in 2015, and Biden stated he didn't have the energy at the time. He endorsed Secretary Clinton in that race.
In 2019, after much speculation, Joe Biden officially decided to run for United States President in 2020. After becoming the front-runner in a very crowded democratic field, Joe Biden's final opponent, Bernie Sanders, conceded the democratic nomination in April of 2020. This left a clear path for Joe Biden to represent the democratic party in the 2020 United States presidential election in November.
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