Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., was born November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first of four siblings. In 1953, the Biden family moved from Pennsylvania to Claymont, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School and served on the New Castle County Council. Then, at age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate.
Just weeks after the election, tragedy struck the Biden family, when Biden's wife, Neilia, and their 1-year old daughter, Naomi, were killed and their two young sons critically injured in an auto accident. Vice President Biden was sworn in to the U.S. Senate at his sons' hospital bedside and began commuting to Washington every day by train, a practice he maintained throughout his career in the Senate.
In 1977, Vice President Biden married Jill Jacobs. Jill Biden, who holds a Ph.D. in Education, has been an educator for over two decades and currently teaches at a DC-area community college. The Vice President has three children: Beau, Hunter, and Ashley. Beau serves as Delaware's Attorney General and recently returned home from Iraq where he served as a Captain in the 261st Signal Brigade of the Delaware National Guard. Ashley is a social worker and Hunter is an attorney. Vice President Biden has five grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel ("Maisy"), Natalie, and Robert Hunter.
As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Senator Biden established himself as a leader on some of our nation's most important domestic and international challenges. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, then-Senator Biden was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues including the landmark 1994 Crime Bill and the Violence Against Women Act. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1997, then-Senator Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of issues and legislation related to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.
Now, as the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden has continued his leadership on important issues facing the nation. The Vice President was tasked with implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, helping to rebuild our economy and lay the foundation for a sustainable economic future. As part of his continued efforts to raise the living standards of middle class Americans across the country, Vice President Biden has also focused on the issues of college affordability and American manufacturing growth, key priorities of the Administration.
Vice President Biden continues to draw on his foreign policy experience, advising the President on a multitude of international issues. He helped secure the Senate’s approval of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, together with significant new funding to maintain our nuclear laboratories. He played a lead role in ending the war in Iraq responsibly, traveling to the country eight times since being elected – most recently in December 2011 to mark the formal end of the war.
In addition, Vice President Biden has supported the Administration’s effort to reestablish leadership in the Asia Pacific, traveling to China, Japan, and Mongolia in August 2011 and completing an exchange of visits with China’s then-Vice President in February 2012, that country’s current leader. He has represented our country in every region of the world, advancing our unprecedented support for Israel’s security, securing approval in Europe for the Administration’s more effective approach to missile defense, working with Latin American leaders to combat drug trafficking and international crime and building relations with key leaders in Africa. He has traveled to more than two dozen countries, including Germany, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Spain, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Finland, Russia, Moldova, Italy, China, Mongolia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Colombia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Morning PlenarySee full schedule