JOE BIDEN – Presumptive Democratic Nominee for President
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. is born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden and Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr., and the first of four children.
“During my adolescent and college years, men and women were changing the country—Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy—and I was swept up in their eloquence, their conviction, the sheer size of their improbable dreams.”
Victory turns to tragedy.
At age 29, Joe becomes one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. Weeks later, tragedy strikes the Biden family when Neilia and Naomi are killed and Hunter and Beau are critically injured in an auto accident.
The 120-mile commute.
Joe is sworn into the U.S. Senate at his sons’ hospital bedsides, and begins commuting from Wilmington to Washington every day, first by car and then by train, in order to tuck his sons in bed at night and see them get up in the morning. He will continue to do so throughout his time in the Senate. For five years, Joe raises Beau and Hunter as a single father, with the help of his sister Valerie and his family.
An early voice for campaign finance reform.
Joe first calls for the public financing of campaigns in the early 1970s. In the decades to come, he’ll continue to take action to restore and strengthen our democratic institutions, starting with protecting the right to vote.
Joe marries Jill Jacobs.
Beau and Hunter tell their dad that it’s time to ask Jill Jacobs, then a high school English teacher, to marry them. They marry at the United Nations Chapel in New York City in 1977. Jill leaves teaching to become a full-time mom—and in 1980, their family is complete with the birth of Ashley Blazer, named by her brothers. A lifelong educator, Jill will go on to earn her doctorate in education and return to teaching as an English professor at a community college in Virginia.
A leader on arms control.
Joe leads a delegation of senators to meet with Kremlin officials in Moscow to present U.S. conditions for the ratification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks–SALT II. It is the beginning of his decades-long leadership on nuclear arms control and strategic security negotiations to keep the American people safe, prevent an unchecked nuclear arms race, and establish norms of international conduct. Later, as Vice President, he will be critical to Senate approval of the New START Treaty with Russia, which brings deployed strategic nuclear weapons by the two countries to the lowest level in history.
One of the first climate change bills.
Joe calls for action to address climate change and protect the environment before it was a mainstream issue, introducing the Global Climate Protection Act. Later, as Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, he organizes several hearings on climate change and rallies support on a number of non-binding resolutions on the issue, in an attempt to build momentum for action to address climate change.
Taking on the NRA.
Joe takes on the National Rifle Association and wins—twice. In 1993, he secures the passage of the Brady background check bill, ushering the bill through conference and defeating an NRA-supported filibuster. And in 1994, he champions the passage of bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Addressing the scourge of violence against women.
At a time when gender-based violence is still considered a “family issue,” Joe writes and spearheads the Violence Against Women Act—the landmark legislation that criminalizes violence against women, creates unprecedented resources for survivors of assault, and changes the national dialogue on domestic and sexual assault.
The biggest economic recovery plan in the history of America.
President Obama turns to Joe to first help pass and then oversee the implementation of the Recovery Act—the biggest economic recovery plan in the history of the nation and our biggest and strongest commitment to clean energy. The President’s plan prevents another Great Depression, creates and saves millions of jobs, and leads to 75 uninterrupted months of job growth by the end of the Administration, which has continued until today. And Joe did it all with less than 1% in waste, abuse or fraud—the most efficient government program in our country’s history.
Millions of Americans gain the peace of mind of health insurance.
President Obama and Joe secure the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which will have reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 20 million by the time they leave office and banned insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
Joe speaks up for marriage equality.
Vice President Biden vocally supports marriage equality for LGBTQ individuals at a time when most political pundits said it wasn’t a good idea. He later shows the same leadership by expressing early support for the Equality Act.
The highest civilian honor.
In a ceremony at the White House, President Obama awards Joe the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction—the nation’s highest civilian honor.
A New Chapter
April 25, 2019
Joe steps up to ask for the honor of representing his country once again, announcing his candidacy for President of the United States.