Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in a cliffhanger election to become the President-elect of the United States recently. However, he is no outsider to the political arena – he has been in American politics for around half a century now, serving in various capacities.
Want to know more about him?
Here is a biography of the 46th President of the United States.
Born on 20th November 1942 in Scranton in Pennsylvania, Joe Biden was the eldest of four siblings. When Joe was 10, his family moved to Claymont in Delaware to look out for better work opportunities. He pursued his double majors in history and political science at the University of Delaware and earned his law degree from Syracuse University in New York.
Subsequently, Biden began practicing law at Wilmington and also worked part-time as a public defender. Meanwhile, he married Neilia Hunter and in the years to come, had three children – Beau, Hunter, and Naomi.
At the age of a mere 29 in 1972, Biden defeated a well-established Republican senator Caleb Boggs to win the Senate elections in Delaware.
Unfortunately, a mere two months after the election, Biden lost his wife and daughter in a car accident, and his sons were critically injured.
He was sworn in in January 1973 at the Wilmington Medical Centre, where his sons were still undergoing treatment. And, for the entire time in the Senate, Biden travelled from Wilmington to Washington every day to put his children to sleep each night and to be by their side when they woke up in the morning.
In 1977, he married Jill Jacobs, who is a veteran educator. She is also the founder of the Biden Breast Health Initiative non-profit organization and the co-founder of the Book Buddies program.
In his political career, Biden is recognized for bringing about many landmark bills. For instance, he has been known to spearhead the Global Climate Protection Act, one of the first bill on climate change, much before it was a mainstream issue. As the Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a decade and a half, he is credited for his work in writing and spearheading the Violence Against Women Act, which criminalized violence against women and created resources for survivors of assault. Also, as the Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, Biden played a critical role in shaping U.S. foreign policy.
Biden was elected to the US Senate six times before he resigned to serve as the Vice-President.
He served as the Vice-President of the United States from 2009 to 2017 under President Barack Obama. The two shared a great relationship and Obama campaigned actively for Biden in the 2020 Presidential election.
During his tenure as the Vice-President, Biden actively oversaw the implementation of the Recovery Act — an economic recovery plan to offset the effects of the 2008 recession, and a commitment to clean energy. He was also a proponent of marriage equality for LGBTQ. Post the Sandy Hook Elementary School gun violence incident, he led multiple initiatives to improve the gun background check system to make schools and communities safer.
Unfortunately, Biden faced a massive personal tragedy when he lost his elder son Beau, an Iraq War veteran and an attorney general, to brain cancer in 2015. Across his political career, Biden has spoken openly and poignantly about his personal tragedies, reinforcing his image as a family man and as a man with empathy and compassion.
In 2017, President Obama honoured Biden by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction.
After four tumultuous years of Trump presidency, many experts believe that Biden would certainly bring in much compassion, integrity, and character to the White House.
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