Joseph R. Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, but who is the calm, mild-mannered silver fox that we have come to know?
Let’s start at the beginning!
Biden, 78, was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942. His family later moved to Delaware where he excelled at sports, but admits he was a poor student.
In 1965, Biden graduated from the University of Delaware and entered into law school. In 1972, he ran for office and won, making him the junior U.S. Senator for the State of Delaware. A few weeks after the election, Biden’s wife Neilia and his one-year-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in an automobile accident. His two sons – Hunter and Beau – were also severely injured, but survived the crash.
Following the death of his wife, Biden was a single father until 1975 when he met and married Jill Biden in 1977. They later welcomed a daughter, Ashley, in 1981. In his 2008 book, “Promises to Keep,” he wrote that he “felt God had played a horrible trick” on him, and he had trouble focusing on work. He also credits Jill for helping him to love life again.
With his life back on track, Biden focused on his work in the Senate. During his early years in the Senate, Biden focused on consumer protection and environmental issues, and called for greater government accountability.
Biden received considerable attention when he condemned Secretary of State George Shultz at a Senate hearing for the Reagan administration’s support of South Africa, and in 1981, Biden became a ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In 1987, Biden threw in his first bid for president and ran against Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, George H.W. Bush, and Dan Quayle. Biden later withdrew from the race, saying his candidacy had been overrun by “the exaggerated shadow” of his past mistakes.
Biden chose not to run for president in 1992, and did not run in 2004 because he felt he had little chance of winning and could best serve the country by remaining in the Senate. In January of 2007, he declared his candidacy in the 2008 election, but lost to former President Barack Obama.
Obama won the election against John McCain and brought Biden on as his Vice President.
Biden served two terms under Obama and decided to take his chances and run for president for the third time in 2020. Biden later said in an interview with CNN that he wanted to run in honor of his son Beau, who passed away from brain cancer in 2015.
Proving that the third time’s the charm, Biden beat out President Donald J. Trump and on January 20, 2021 – after years of service to the U.S. – Biden will finally be sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States.