Joe Biden - a look at the life of America's president
It’s hard to say the legacy of Joe Biden as President of the United States will be. With the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic still looming and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, things haven’t been easy, to say the least.
Let’s take a moment to learn about this long-serving US senator that, after many attempts and adversities, finally managed to reach to the White House.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, New York. When he was 10, his family moved to Delaware.
Here is a young Joe Biden in a picture from the early 70s.
The future US president married his first wife, Neilia Hunter, in 1966. Two years later, in 1968, he got a law degree from Syracuse University.
After spending two years in county-level politics, in 1972 he became one of the youngest senators in US history, representing the state of Delaware at the age of 29.
The Democratic Biden presented himself as a young, energetic alternative to the incumbent Republican senator J. Caleb Boggs (pictured), whom he defeated by a margin of 1.4% of the votes.
However, tragedy soon struck the life of the young senator. His wife Neilia and their one-year daughter Naomi perished in a car accident just a few weeks after he won the election.
His sons Beau and Hunter Biden survived the accident. Their father had to be sworn in as senator in the hospital where the boys were hospitalized.
Joe Biden considered resigning from the Senate to take care of his sons, but he was persuaded not to do so by the senate majority leader, Michael Mansfield. That could have been the end of his political career.
To honor the memory of his late wife and daughter, Biden doesn’t work on December 18, the day of their fatal car crash.
While working in the Senate, Biden commuted two hours on the train between Washington, DC, and his home in Delaware every day to be close to his two young boys.
He remarried in 1977 to educator Jill Tracy Jacobs. They have been together ever since and have one daughter, Ashley.
The young senator soon stood up in the house for championing environmental issues, consumer protection, and government accountability.
However, Biden also made some controversial decisions during his 36 years as a US senator.
In the mid-1970s, he became one of the leading voices on the Senate floor opposing busing, the practice of desegregating schools by busing in students from different communities. This was brought up during the debates of the 2020 Democratic nomination.
In 1994, he helped pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, also known as the Clinton Crime Bill or Biden Crime Law. The law was heavily criticized for producing mass incarceration in underprivileged communities. Biden called the approval of the law “a big mistake” in 2009.
Biden’s record with the LGBT community hasn’t been good, either. In 1993, he voted for barring homosexuals serving in the military, and in 1996 he supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited same-sex marriages to be recognized at a federal level.
Health problems separated Joe Biden from his government duties in 1988. Pain in the neck turned out to be a brain aneurysm. During recovery, he suffered a pulmonary embolism and a second aneurysm.
The White House is something Joe Biden has always aspired to. In 1987, he campaigned for the Democratic nomination to run for president.
However, his campaign was mired by the discovery that he had plagiarized speeches from British politician Neil Kinnock. The Labour Party leader took it amicably and, as this 1990 picture reveals, the two remained on friendly terms.
Michael Dukakis ended up being the candidate for the Democratic Party in the 1988 presidential election and lost against George Bush.
He tried again 20 years later, in 2007, and lost the party nomination against Barack Obama.
However, Obama and Biden developed a mutual respect during the campaign and the Chicago politician offered Biden to be his Vice President.
Biden left the Senate in 2009, becoming one of the top 20 longest-serving senators in US history.
As Vice President, he cultivated an image of a relaxed, older uncle. Always wearing aviator sunglasses.
Tragedy struck once again in the Biden family in 2015 when Beau Biden, the future president’s eldest son, passed away from brain cancer. He was 46.
Biden decided not to run in 2016 since he was still grieving for his son. However, as he writes in his memoir ‘Promise me, Dad’, he promised Beau that no matter what, he would be okay.
In 2020, 77-year-old Joe Biden finally had a chance to run for president.
It wasn't an easy election, to say the least. There was a lot of criticism that both candidates were in their 70s and that Biden was four years older than the Republican incumbent, Donald Trump.
Donald Trump even tried to pressure Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden's business in Ukraine in exchange to agree on a Congress-approved military aid package to the country.
The controversy regarding Ukraine led to Trump's first impeachment trial in 2019.
That wasn't the end of it, during the 2020 Presidential Election there were numerous allegations of Trump and his supporters attempting to overturn the voting and dismiss the official results.
This culminated in the Capitol Assault of January 6, 2021. It was one of the most embarrassing moments in US history. Some have even described it as a coup attempt.
This led to the second attempt to impeach Donald Trump, despite being on his way out. This time under charges of insurrection.
Despite all of this, Joe Biden managed to become the 46th President of the United States. He has announced his intention to run in 2024, but getting reelected at 82 won't be an easy feat for him.