Joseph Biden

U.S. Senator / U.S. Vice President

Born: 20 November 1942
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Best known as: The vice president of the United States, 2009-present

Joseph Biden became vice president of the United States in 2009, after having been a U.S. senator from Delaware since 1973. Joe Biden was born in Pennsylvania and moved with his family to Delaware at age 10. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware in 1965, then a law degree from Syracuse University in 1968. A political prodigy, he was only 29 when elected to the Senate in 1972. He was elected six times more: in 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee beginning in 1975, Biden carved out a reputation as a brainy and talkative expert in international relations. He ran for president in the elections of 1988 and 2008, losing in the primaries both times. Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008 and then chose Biden as his running mate. They defeated Republican nominees John McCain and Sarah Palin in the general election. Biden also was re-elected to the Senate that year (Delaware law allowed him to run for both offices), but he gave up that seat to become vice president. Biden and Obama took office on 20 January 2009. They were re-elected for new four-year terms on November 6, 2012, defeating the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Extra credit:

Joe Biden married the former Neilia Hunter in 1966. They had three children: Joseph R. Biden III (called “Beau,” b. 1969), Hunter (b. 1970), and Naomi (b. 1971). Neilia and Naomi were killed in a car crash in 1972, just a month after Biden was elected to the Senate. Hunter and Beau were injured in the crash but survived. Joe Biden remarried in 1977, to schoolteacher Jill Jacobs (now Jill Biden). Their daughter Ashley was born in 1981… Beau Biden was elected attorney general of Delaware in 2006 and served two terms, through 2014. He died of brain cancer on May 30, 2015… Joe Biden’s 1988 run for president was cut short in 1987 after he used portions of a speech from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock in a campaign speech, without attributing Kinnock. Biden said it was an honest mistake, while critics called it plagiarism… Joe Biden published a memoir, Promises to Keep, in 2007.

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