Meet the Bidens: America’s new First Family

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Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. standing with his family on back of a train after announcing his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in June 1987. Getty Images
  • The Biden family is the new First Family.
  • President-elect Joe Biden will be joined in the White House by his wife, Jill Biden, and their dogs, Champ and Major.
  • Joe Biden has a daughter named Ashley with Jill, his second wife. He had three children with his first wife, Neilia, only one of whom, his son Hunter, is still alive. Neilia and their daughter Naomi died in a 1972 car crash, and their son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.
  • On Friday, November 9, DecisionDeskHQ called the 2020 election for Joe Biden, making him the president-elect.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Biden family, a fixture in American politics for decades, is set to be the new First Family.

On Friday, November 9, Joe Biden was called the winner of the 2020 presidential election by DecisionDeskHQ.

President-elect Joe Biden served in the Senate from 1973 until 2009, when he resigned to become Barack Obama’s vice president, serving from 2009 to 2017. Biden had run for president twice before, in 1987 and (against Obama) in 2007.

After his successful third run, his family, which includes his wife Jill and his two surviving children, Hunter and Ashley, are set to become the next first family after Biden is inaugurated as president on January 20, 2021.

Keep reading to learn more about the Biden family — the next First Family of the United States.


President-elect Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He spent the first few years of his life in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Joe Biden participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate in Washington DC in the spring of 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) Associated Press

Biden was born to Joseph Biden Sr., a used car salesman, and Catherine Eugenia Finnegan.

Biden first attended St. Paul’s Elementary School in Scranton, before he moved to Mayfield, Delaware, in 1955 at the age of 13. Growing up, Biden struggled with a stutter but said he overcame the speech impediment by memorising and reciting poetry.

He attended St. Helena School before going to the private Archmere Academy, from which he graduated in 1961.

Biography reports that Biden developed a “sharp interest” in politics during his undergraduate years, in part inspired by watching the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961. Biden would be only the second Catholic to be elected president, after Kennedy, per Pew.

Source:Biography;Pew


Biden met his first wife, Neilia Hunter, during his junior year in college.

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Then-Senator-elect Joe Biden and wife, Nelia, cut his 30th birthday cake at a party in Wilmington. Getty Images

Biden met his first wife, Neilia, while he was on a spring break trip and while Neilia was attending Syracuse University. Biden himself went on to attend Syracuse University Law School, after graduating from the University of Delaware in 1965.

In 1996, Biden and Neilia married, and they had three children: Joseph (“Beau”) Biden III born in 1969, Hunter born in 1970, and Naomi born in 1971.

After Biden graduated from law school in 1968, the family moved to Wilmington, Delaware. During this time, he started his own law firm and was elected to the New Castle County Council.


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Biography


Tragedy struck the Biden family in 1972, when his wife Neilia and their children were in a car accident a week before Christmas.

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The car accident killed Neilia and their young daughter Naomi, while Beau and Hunter survived. Afterward, Biden “began to understand how despair led people to just cash in; how suicide wasn’t just an option but a rational option,” he said of the incident. “I felt God had played a horrible trick on me, and I was angry.”

He had just been elected to the Senate and decided to skip the traditional swearing-in ceremony in Washington DC, instead taking the oath from the hospital where his sons were recovering. He began commuting from Wilmington each day, something he continued throughout his Senate tenure, earning the nickname “Amtrak Joe” for his preferred mode of transportation.


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Biography


Biden ran two previous unsuccessful campaigns for president before breaking through in 2020.

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Joe and Jill Biden after he was discharged from aneurysm repair surgery in 1988. Pam Price/AP

After Biden’s first presidential run, in 1988, doctors discovered that he had had two brain aneurysms. He had to undergo surgery, which then led to complications that saw blood clots in his lungs. After another surgery, he went into a seven-month recovery and then returned to the Senate.


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Biography


Jill Biden was born in Hammonton, New Jersey, in June 1951.

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Jill Biden watching as Joe Biden announces his bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. Steve Liss/The LIFE Images Collection/ Getty Images

Jill Biden was born in Hammonton, New Jersey, in June 1951. Her father was a bank teller and her mother was a stay-at-home mum. She has four siblings.

“From an early age, I knew I wanted my own money, my own identity, my own career,” she told Vogue in 2008.

In 1971, she married a man named Bill Stevenson, whom she met shortly before graduating from high school.

She attended the University of Delaware, majoring in English, and she and Stevenson opened a bar named the Stone Balloon Tavern and Concert Hall, which would go on to become one of the top college bars in the nation.

By 1975, she and Stevenson divorced. Then a junior in college, she decided to take a year off from school. Later that year, she went on a blind date with Joe Biden, set up by Joe’s brother Frank.


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Business Insider


In 1977, Biden married his second wife, Jill (née Jacobs). They have a daughter, Ashley, who was born in 1981.

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Joe Biden kissing wife Jill’s forehead after announcing his bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. Getty Images

Jill said it took five marriage proposals for her to finally say yes to Biden.

“By that time, of course, I had fallen in love with the boys, and I really felt that this marriage had to work. Because they had lost their mum, and I couldn’t have them lose another mother,”Jill told Vogue.

The two married in 1977. As Joe continued his political career, Jill earned a master’s in education, and then another master’s in English from Villanova University, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. At the age of 55, she earned a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware.


Source:

Business Insider;

Business Insider


Jill was the first known Second Lady to have an outside job while in the role, and is set to be the first First Lady to do so.

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Barack Obama’s wife Michelle (left) and Joe Biden’s wife Jill hosted events together when they served as First Lady and Second Lady as well as for the 2020 presidential campaign. Getty Images

While her husband has been in office, Jill has hosted a slew of events, some with former First Lady Michelle Obama. But even so, she has mostly kept her distance from the political spotlight.

During Biden’s vice presidency, she was an English teacher at Northern Virginia Community College – making her the first known Second Lady to work while in the role.

“My standard line when students ask me if I am married to the VP is to say that I am one of his relatives. That usually quiets them,” she once told The New York Times.

Business Insider previously reported that many students didn’t even know she was married to Joe Biden, as she went by the nickname “Dr. B.”

Once her husband is sworn in as president, Jill will become the first FLOTUS to have a full-time job outside of the White House, as reported by Business Insider.


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Business Insider


Joe Biden’s oldest son, Joseph (“Beau”) Biden III, was born in February 1969.

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Beau Biden, the late son of President-elect Joe Biden, addresses the Democratic National Convention in 2012. Jason Reed/Reuters

Beau was born in Wilmington, Delaware. After the car crash that killed his mother and younger sister, he and his brother Hunter were hospitalized. He said at the Democratic National Convention in 2008 that the experience had made the family closer.

“One of my earliest memories was being in that hospital, Dad always at our side. We, not the Senate, were all he cared about,” he said.

Like his father, Beau attended the Archmere Academy, then later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He also, like his father, attended Syracuse University College of Law.After law school, he worked at the Department of Justice in Philadelphia.

He was elected Attorney General of Delaware in 2006, after having spent two years as a partner at the Wilmington law firm Bifferato Gentilotti Biden & Balick.


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New York Times


Beau Biden served two terms as Delaware’s attorney general. He was going to try to run for governor of the state in 2016.

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Joe Biden (right) talks with his son, U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden, at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq, in this 2009 photo. AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

Beau served two terms as Delaware’s attorney general, winning reelection to the position in 2010. In April 2014, he announced he would not seek a third term, and would instead run for governor of Delaware in 2016.

“After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as attorney general while at the same time running as a candidate for governor,” Beau Biden said in a statement that was posted on his website, captured by the BBC at the time. “After my term is completed, I look forward to meeting with Delawareans and continuing to discuss my plans as a candidate for governor.”


Source:
USA Today


Beau Biden died from brain cancer in May 2015. He was only 46.

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Joe and Jill Biden after attending Beau’s funeral in 2015. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool/Reuters

Before his cancer diagnosis, Beau Biden had struggled with several health issues. In 2010, he had a stroke, and in 2013, he had a lesion removed from his brain. After Beau died of brain cancer in May 2015, Barack Obama delivered a eulogy at his funeral.

“He did in 46 years what most of us couldn’t do in 146. He left nothing in the tank. He was a man who led a life where the means were as important as the ends,” Obama said at the funeral. “And the example he set made you want to be a better dad, or a better son, or a better brother or sister, better at your job, the better soldier. He made you want to be a better person.”

“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” Biden said in a statement about his son.

Beau’s death may have kept Biden from running for president in 2016.

“As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I’ve said all along what I’ve said time and again to others, that it may very well be that the process by the time we get through it closes the window. I’ve concluded it has closed,” he said at the time, adding that “while I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent. I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully, to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation.”


Source:
Marie Claire


Hunter Biden was born in February 1970 in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Hunter Biden. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USA

Hunter Biden was born in February 1970 in Wilmington. He went on to study at Georgetown, graduating in 1992. After his college graduation, he spent time in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps before heading to Yale Law School in 1996, where he got a JD.

In 1997, he returned to Wilmington, where he lived with his wife and daughters. He became an executive vice president at MBNA Bank and stayed at the bank for nearly five years, although he later said he didn’t like its corporate culture.

“If you forgot to wear your MBNA lapel pin, someone would stop you in the halls,” he told The New Yorker in 2019. At the time, MBNA was known to be a major donor to Joe Biden’s campaigns.

From 2001 to 2008, Hunter worked at a federal lobbying firm that he cofounded, resigning when his father joined the presidential ticket. Hunter said he resigned from the lobbying firm to preserve the “optics” of his father’s ticket with Obama. “I wanted my father to have a clean slate,” Hunter Biden told The New Yorker last year. “I didn’t want to limit him in any way.”

In 2008, Hunter launched a consulting firm, and in 2009 cofounded Rosemont Seneca Partners, a private-equity firm.


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Business Insider


Hunter’s personal life has garnered a lot of attention over the past decade.

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Joe and Jill Biden with son Hunter and Hunter’s ex-wife Kathleen. Getty Images

At the age of 44, Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserves for testing positive for cocaine, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2014. (Hunter told The New Yorker in 2019 that he had been a frequent social drinker and occasionally used cocaine.)

A few years later, in 2017, following the death of his brother Beau from cancer, Hunter separated from his wife, Kathleen, and began dating Hallie Biden, Beau’s widow, the New York Post’s Page Six reported. (Hunter and Kathleen later divorced.)

It is unclear when Hunter and Hallie broke up, but TMZ reported on a “secret” wedding in May 2019 between Hunter Biden and the South African model Melissa Cohen. Later that year, it was revealed that while Hunter had been dating Hallie, he fathered a child with another woman named Lunden Alexis Roberts, later confirmed by DNA testing, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Business Insider previously noted that, because the Biden family is protected by the secret service, Hunter’s new baby may be eligible for secret service protection.


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Business Insider


Throughout Joe Biden’s run for president, Hunter’s business career has generated headlines.

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Joe Biden (right) and his son Hunter. AP

Hunter Biden’s significant international business connections became a subplot of much of the latter half of Trump’s term in office, as well as in the 2020 campaign. In May 2014, Hunter became a board member of Burisma Holdings, a gas company based in Ukraine.

A press release said Hunter would be in charge of Burisma’s legal relations with different companies, but Hunter would later deny that characterization. The Biden family said that his role did not pose a conflict of interest, while the Trump campaign claimed otherwise.

Ultimately, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, said there was no evidence of wrongdoing against either Hunter or Joe. The Trump White House’s efforts to convince the government of Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens was part of Trump’s impeachment in late 2019 and early 2020.

Read more: The Joe and Hunter Biden Ukraine investigation explained


Ashley Biden has lived a life further outside politics than her brothers.

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Ashley Biden is Joe Biden’s only living daughter.

As reported by Tatler, she received a master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.

She married in 2012 to Howard Krein, an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist). Krein is Jewish, but according to Tatler, Ashley has not converted to Judaism and remains a practicing Catholic.

Biden and his family are known for being devout Catholics and Joe is frequently seen attending church near his home in Wilmington. But all of his children have married Jewish spouses, The Jewish Chronicle reported.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, is also Jewish.


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Marie Claire


Biden served in the senate from 1973 until 2009, when he resigned to become Barack Obama’s vice president.

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Here are some highlights from Joe Biden’s decades in the Senate.

He served as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, advocating for arms limitations with the Soviet Union. He opposed the First Gulf War and criticised the way George W. Bush handled the Iraq War.

He is also a known supporter of tougher crime laws, and in 1994, he sponsored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, to increase the sentences for some crimes.


Source:
Biography


Biden’s other prior run for president, in 2007, ended after he received less than 1% of the votes in the Iowa caucuses.

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Joe Biden was still a senator when he tried to run for president in 2007.

In that Democratic primary, he went up against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The latter candidate would end up securing the Democratic nomination and selecting Biden as his running mate.

On November 2, 2008, Obama and Biden beat the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. On January 20, 2009, Obama became the 44th U.S. president and Biden became the 47th vice president.


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Biography


In January 2017, President Obama awarded Biden the President Medal of Freedom with distinction, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden share a laugh in the Oval Office in 2014. White House/Pete Souza

In 2017, Barack Obama surprised Joe Biden before they left office by presenting him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

Obama said in the ceremony that Biden was “the best vice president America’s ever had” and a “lion of American history,” adding that Biden was being honoured for ”faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service that will endure through the generations.”


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NPR