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Vice President
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. Timeline

47th U. S. Vice President

First Catholic Vice President of U. S.*

Amtrak's Number 1 Commuter

Secret Service Code Name:  Celtic

U. S. Vice President Joe Biden

Inaugural Luncheon

"Vice President Biden has three children: Beau, Hunter, and Ashley.  Beau serves as Delaware's Attorney General and is currently deployed to Iraq as a Captain in the 261st Signal Brigade of the Delaware National Guard.  Ashley is a social worker [in Delaware] and Hunter is an attorney [in Washington, D. C.]   Vice President Biden has five grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel ("Maisy"), Natalie, and Robert Hunter." - White House

 

Vice President Joe Biden meets weekly with President Barack Obama one-on-one.  The meetings, usually over lunch, center on foreign policy, constitutional issues, and cooperation with Congress.  Vice President Joe Biden was Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Committee in the Senate and also taught U. S. Constitutional Law.

1940

November 20, 1942

Vice President Joe Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first of Joe and Jean Biden's four children. His sister, Val, is his best friend to this day. 

Joe Biden attended Saint Paul School in Scranton.

"Kids make fun of you because you stutter."  Eventually Joe Biden overcame his stuttering by reading aloud and looking in the mirror.

"I have never forgotten what it was like and how tough it is for anyone who's had to face it.  Overcoming my stuttering taught me one of the most important lessons in my life - that if you put your mind to something, there's nothing you can't do."

1950

Joe Biden at 10

Vice President Joe Biden at 10

Summer 1953

The Biden family moves from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to the Brookview neighborhood of Claymont, Delaware

Joe Biden Yearbook photo

Vice President Joe Biden's Yearbook Photo

September 1957

Vice President Biden is enrolled in Archmere Academy, a Catholic Prep school in Claymont, Delaware

1960

June 1965

Vice President Biden is graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965 with a double major in History and Political Science and enrolls in Syracuse University Law School to be near his future wife, Neilia Hunter.

August 27, 1966

Vice President Biden marries the former Neilia Hunter

June 1968

After being graduated from Syracuse University Law School, Vice President Joe Biden begins work as a trial attorney in Wilmington, Delaware

February 3, 1969

Birth of Joe and Neilia's first child, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III

1970

February 4, 1970

Birth of Joe and Neilia's second child, Hunter

November, 1970

Elected to the New Castle County Council

November 8, 1971

Birth of third child, Naomi Christina

November, 1972

Joe elected as Delaware's U.S. Senator, beating an incumbent Republican.  At age 29, Joe was the 5th youngest U.S. Senator ever.

Joe Biden's 30th Birthday

Vice President Biden celebrates his 30th birthday

December 18, 1972

While Christmas shopping, Vice President Biden's wife, Neilia, and their three children are in an automobile accident.  Neilia and Naomi suffer fatal injuries while Beau and Hunter are critically injured but make full recoveries.

Joe Biden continues to take the day off from work on the anniversary of Neilia and Naomi's death.

VP Joe Biden and Sons

Senator Joe Biden with Beau and Hunter

January 5, 1973

After consistent lobbying by Hubert Humphrey and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield urging him not to resign, Senator Biden is sworn in to the United States Senate at Beau and Hunter's bedside in Wilmington, Delaware

January, 1975

Senator Joe Biden becomes a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which he later chairs

January, 1977

Senator Joe Biden becomes a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which he chairs from 1987 to 1994

June 17, 1977

Joe marries schoolteacher Jill Tracy Jacobs, an Episcopalian

Joe, Beau, Hunter and Jill

 Beau, Hunter, Joe, and Jill

November, 1978

Campaign Stage photo

Senator Joe Biden wins reelection to the U. S. Senate

Undated

Senator Joe Biden and President Jimmy Carter in the White House

Senator Joe Biden and President Jimmy Carter in the White House

1980

June 8, 1981

Birth of Joe and Jill's daughter, Ashley

Joe Biden with Ashley

Senator Joe Biden with daughter, Ashley

November, 1984

Senator Joe Biden is re-elected to the U.S. Senate

June 9, 1987

Senator Joseph Biden, Jr. announces his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic Nomination for President of the United States

Senator Biden announces run for presidency

Poster of Senator Joe Biden, Jr.'s 1988 presidential announcement

February 11, 1988

After suffering from headaches for years, two aneurysms are diagnosed in Senator Biden's brain, and he undergoes successful emergency surgery

1990

November, 1990

Senator Joe Biden wins re-election to the U.S. Senate

September, 1991

Senator Joe Biden begins teaching Constitutional Law as an Adjunct Professor at Widener University Law School

November, 1996

Senator Joseph Biden is re-elected to U.S. Senate

Biden on Senate Floor

Senator Joseph Biden on the U. S. Senate floor

May 11, 1999

Senator Joe Biden casts his 10,000th vote on the Senate floor

2000

November, 2002

Senator Joseph Biden wins reelection to U.S. Senate

January 31, 2007

Biden for President 08

Senator Joe Biden announces his bid for the 2008 Democratic Nomination for President of the United States

August 1, 2007

Senator Joe Biden releases his memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics

Promises to Keep  by Senator Joseph Biden

"The art of living is simply getting up after you've been knocked down."

August 23, 2008

Senator Joseph Biden, Jr. is selected to be the U. S. Democratic Party's Vice Presidential Presumptive Nominee

August 25, 2008

Senator Joseph Biden is nominated and accepts the Democratic Party's Vice Presidential nomination

November 4, 2008

Senator Joe Biden becomes Vice President-Elect Joe Biden

Senator Biden was reelected to the Senate from Delaware on November 4, 2008, the same day he was voted Vice President

Alex Brandon/AP
Senator Joe Biden becomes Vice President-Elect Joe Biden

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden is congratulated by his wife, Jill, in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, on election night

Jason Reed/Reuters
Catholic News - Catholic Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden, Jr. and his granddaughter Naomi at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, on election night

Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden, Jr. holds his granddaughter, Naomi, in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, on election night.  Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden's large Irish Catholic family attended the ceremony, perhaps as many as 37 relatives.

November 13, 2008

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, toured the vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory as guests of the 46th vice president.

November 20, 2008

U. S. President-Elect Barack Obama surprises Vice President-Elect Joe Biden with 12 cupcakes for his 66th birthday on November 20.  In addition, President-Elect Barack Obama gave Vice President-Elect Joe Biden presents of a Chicago baseball team White Sox cap, a Chicago football team Bears cap and a bucket of Garrett popcorn.

U. S. President-Elect Barack Obama surprises Vice President-Elect Joe Biden with 12 cupcakes for his 66th birthday on November 20.  In addition, President-Elect Barack Obama gave Vice President-Elect Joe Biden presents of a Chicago baseball team White Sox cap, a Chicago football team Bears cap and a bucket of Garrett popcorn.

January 15, 2009

Senator Joseph Biden resigned from the Senate after serving 36 years.  In his farewell speech, Senator Biden said that next to his role as a father, being a senator was closest to his heart.  In his farewell speech, Senator Biden  also said his motto was: "Never question a man's motives, just his judgment."   Senator Biden noted he came to the Senate to legislate for civil rights.

Although not a member of the Senate, Vice President Joseph Biden will preside over the Senate and vote in case of a tie. 

January 17, 2009, Whistle Stop Train Rally

On a cold 20-degree-Saturday before taking office, Vice President-Elect Joe Biden and his wife, "Jilly," rode a 10-car Amtrak train pulling a blue 1939 Pullman car named Georgia 300, on a whistle stop from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D. C. stopping in Wilmington, Delaware, and Baltimore, Maryland.  Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden gave a speech at the Wilmington stop in which he said, "Spring is on the way with the new administration," and paraphrased James Joyce's "When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart," by saying, "When I die, Delaware will be written in mine."

Amtrak conductor, Greg Weaver, introduced Vice President-Elect Joe Biden during the Wilmington, Delaware, stop on the Whistle Stop Train Rally calling him America's Number 1 Commuter.  Greg Weaver said for 25 years he watched Vice President-Elect Joe Biden sprint up the stairs onto the train after dropping his children off at school on his way each morning from Delaware to Washington, D. C.  Joe Biden estimated he has riden Amtrak 14,000 times.  Greg Weaver's son, Blake, has now joined him as an Amtrak conductor.

Jill Biden's Secret Service code name is Capri.  Jill Biden, who holds a Ph.D. in Education, has been an educator for over two decades in Delaware's schools.

January 18, 2009

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Joe Biden and his grandson, Hunter Biden, after Sunday Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D. C.

Joe Biden and his grandson, Hunter Biden, after Sunday Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D. C.

January 20, 2009

Jim Bourg/Reuters
Jore Biden VP Oath Office

Joe Biden was administered the Oath of Office of the Vice President of the United States of America at 11:58 A. M. on January 20, 2009, by Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens with his wife, Jill, by his side.

Lauren Victoria Burke/AP
Joe and Joe Biden Inaugural Ball

Before dancing at the ten Inaugural Balls, Vice President Joe Biden made the Sign of the Cross to help him with his dance steps.  It turned out he was a smooth dancer.  In this photo the Vice President and his wife are dancing to Van Morrison's Have I Told You Lately That I love You at the Southern Inaugural Ball.

Alex Brandon/AP
Jill Biden at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball

Jill Biden's silk chiffon dress with a hand-ruched bodice was by Lebanese designer Reem Acra who usually designs wedding dresses in New York.  This photo was taken at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.

Linda Brown
Joe Biden and his German Shepherd puppy

Joe Biden and his German Shepherd puppy, Champ

Champ Biden

Champ Biden likes chewing shoes

Joe Biden eats healthily and works out by lifting weights, walking, running, and using an elliptical machine.

April 22, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden received the Legal Momentum Hero Award from Jesuit Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D. C. or sponsoring and continuing to support the Violence Against Women Act.

May 10, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden was the 2009 Commencement speaker at Syracuse University, his 1968 law school alma mater, as well as 2009 Commencement speaker at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in a joint Commencement ceremony on May 10, 2009. "It’s a true honor to be invited back to Syracuse University.  The University and entire Syracuse community have meant so much to me in my life, and I look forward to being a part of the Orange’s 2009 graduation festivities."  VP Biden is an active Syracuse University alumnus.

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In 1994, 2002 and 2006, Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote address at Syracuse University's Law Commencement. 

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In 1995 VP Biden delivered the keynote speech at the College of Law’s Centennial Celebration.  

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In 1980 VP Biden received Syracuse University Chancellor’s Medal. 

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In 2003, VP Biden received  Syracuse University Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. 

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In 2005, VP Biden received the George Arents Pioneer Medal which is Syracuse University's highest alumni award.

January 8, 2010

“My mother, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan Biden, passed away peacefully today at our home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and many loved ones.  At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times.   She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves.  Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor.  Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us.”    

APJean Biden

Jean Biden at her son's inauguration

Ash Wednesday, 2010

Sky News presenter Kay Burley made fun of U. S. Vice President Joe Biden's ashes on Ash Wednesday.  Also, after the 9/11 attack, Ms. Burley said, “...the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated by a terrorist attack."  With reference to her not remembering or recognizing Ash Wednesday, Ms. Burley said, "I am a bad Catholic.  I hang my head in shame." 

Vice President Joe Biden on his Catholic faith:

"The animating principle of my faith, as taught to me by Church and home, was that the cardinal sin was abuse of power.  It was not only required as a good Catholic to abhor and avoid abuse of power but to do something to end that abuse."

"Whether it's a boss who is petty at the office or a dictator running roughshod over his people,  I just can't stand it when people abuse power.  I do get angry about that, and I hope  always will."

"I get comfort from carrying my rosary, going to Mass every Sunday."

"I'm very proud to be Catholic. It's part of my spirituality, part of my identity. When John Kennedy ran for president, I remember being so proud that he was Catholic.  But he had to prove that he wasn't ruled by his beliefs.  I'm with John Kennedy on the role religion ought to play in politics."

Vice President Joseph Biden is a parishioner of Saint Patrick Church in the Diocese of Wilmington.  He attends Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D. C., the same church President John F. Kennedy attended when he was in Washington.  After Mass Vice President Biden goes to the coffee shop.

*There were five unsuccessful Catholic vice presidential candidates:  William Miller (Republican-1964), Ed Muskie (Democrat-1968), Thomas Eagleton (Democrat-1972), Sargent Shriver (Democrat-1972), and Geraldine Ferraro (Democrat-1984).  Thomas Eagleton was replaced by Sargent Shriver.

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