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A Joe Biden Biography: Climbing the Political Ladder

Tragedy, controversy, leadership, ambition – Biden’s life has had it all.

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It looks like Joe Biden will be the man to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. After a hard race in the primaries, Biden has become the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party – although his nomination isn’t official yet. From his beginnings as an attorney up until his stint as vice president, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has had a long and storied career.

Biden’s Early Life

Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His father, Joseph Robinette Biden Sr., was a used car salesman who also cleaned furnaces for a living. His mother was named Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, and Joe was the eldest of four siblings.

Biden’s family lived in Pennsylvania until 1955 when they moved to Mayfield, Delaware. As a child, he struggled with a severe stutter. Other kids in his school bullied him and called him names like “Dash” and “Joe Impedimenta,” but he described overcoming the problem by spending hours reciting poetry in front of a mirror. The future vice president’s mother was a source of comfort for him in the face of the bullying. He stated that she would tell him he stuttered because “you’re so bright, you can’t get the thoughts out quickly enough.”

As a law student in 1966, Joe married his first wife, Neilia, and the couple had a daughter named Naomi and two sons, named Beau and Hunter.

Biden’s Political Career

In 1968, Biden graduated from law school and began working as an attorney at a Delaware law firm. It was at this point that he joined the Democratic Party and became involved in politics. Biden first held political office in 1970, when he was elected to the New Castle County Council.

In 1972, the Democratic Party of Delaware urged Biden, who was 29 years old, to run for United States Senate. Despite his slim chances of winning, he managed to gain victory, becoming the fifth-youngest person to serve in the Senate.

Shortly after his electoral victory, both Neilia and Naomi were tragically killed in a car accident. The incident devastated Biden. Instead of moving to Washington, D.C. as a new senator, he decided to travel by train to the capital every day so that he could still spend time with his family.

He later remarried a teacher, Jill Jacobs, and the couple had a daughter named Ashley. Unfortunately, Biden suffered another personal loss with the death of his son Beau in 2015.

He made a name for himself on the issues of crime and drug control, as well as foreign policy matters, especially those related to Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s. However, Biden was involved in legislation that has become controversial over the years. In 1994, he sponsored the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which levied harsher sentences against those who committed certain crimes. The law led to a high number of individuals receiving penalties that many deem to be excessive.

This isn’t the first time Biden has made a presidential bid. He ran in 1988 but dropped out of the race after accusations of plagiarism were made against him.

Biden’s career in the Senate started in 1973 and ended after seven terms in 2009 when he became vice president.

Joe Biden As Vice President

Joe and son Hunter Biden

In 2007, Biden decided a second time to run for president, but could not compete against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who dominated the field. However, after Obama managed to win the nomination, he selected Biden as his running mate for the Democratic ticket.

Obama was declared president in 2008. As vice president, Biden was instrumental in advising Obama and developing policies regarding the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What Now?

Biden recently became embroiled in a few scandals, including possible intervention in the Ukrainian government, and inappropriate treatment of women. He is also known for making gaffes – or verbal errors – on the campaign trail. Politically, he is seen as a moderate who would preserve the status quo in American society.

Now, the former vice president is once again seeking to win the highest office in the land. It may be third time lucky, as Biden appears likely to become the Democratic nominee. He will have a tough fight ahead of him as President Trump is a formidable opponent. Regardless of the outcome, for better or for worse, Biden has left his mark on the United States.

Jeff Charles

Race Relations & Media Affairs Correspondent at and A self-confessed news and political junkie, Jeff’s writing has been featured in Small Business Trends, Business2Community, and The Huffington Post. Born in Southern California and having experienced the 1992 L.A. Riots up close and personal, Jeff’s insights are informed by his experiences as a black man and a conservative.

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