Official portrait, 2021
|46th President of the United States|
|Assumed office |
January 20, 2021
|Vice President||Kamala Harris|
|Preceded by||Donald Trump|
|47th Vice President of the United States|
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Dick Cheney|
|Succeeded by||Mike Pence|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1973 – January 15, 2009
|Preceded by||J. Caleb Boggs|
|Succeeded by||Ted Kaufman|
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
November 20, 1942
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (/ /; born November 20, 1942), commonly known as Joe Biden, is an American politician. He is the 46th and current President of the United States since 2021. Biden was also the 47th Vice President of the United States from 2009 through 2017 during the Barack Obama presidency. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is from Wilmington, Delaware. Before becoming Vice President, he was a U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009. He had served in the Senate longer than any other Vice President.
He tried to become the Democratic candidate for President in 1988 and 2008, but did not win. During the 2008 election, then-Senator Barack Obama picked him to be his running mate. He is a Roman Catholic. Biden has received several awards. He has five honorary doctorates, including one from his alma mater and one from where he has taught law. He has also earned the "Best of Congress Award" and an award from the Pakistani government.
After finishing his second term as vice president, Biden began working at the University of Pennsylvania. On April 25, 2019, Biden launched his presidential campaign for the 2020 election. On April 8, 2020, Biden became the presumptive nominee for the Democratic nomination after Bernie Sanders ended his campaign. On November 7, he beat President Donald Trump and became the President-elect of the United States. He was inaugurated on January 20, 2021. He is the oldest person to become president and the first from Delaware.
Early life[change | change source]
Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942 at St. Mary's Keller Memorial Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania to a family of Irish Catholics. His father, Joe Biden Sr., was a businessman. When he was young, his family moved to Wilmington, Delaware. He also began to stutter at an early age. In high school, Biden played football and baseball, but he was not a very good student. Biden attended college at the University of Delaware and Syracuse University. He did not have to fight in the Vietnam War because he was going to college and had asthma as a child.
In the Senate[change | change source]
This section needs more information. (May 2020)
For many years, Biden was a U.S. Senator from Delaware. Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 when he was 29 years old. His election was somewhat of a surprise. The other candidate, J. Caleb Boggs, had more experience and more money to spend on his campaign. He is one of the youngest people to become a U.S. Senator, because he was only two months older than the minimum age, 30, required to be one. (While he was 29 during the election, he turned 30 before he became a senator.)
Biden was re-elected to the Senate six times. He became a prominent defender of Israel as a senator, and said that if there was no country like Israel the U.S. would have to make one. Later in his time in the Senate, Biden served as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Foreign Relations committee deals with American issues in other countries. When Biden was chair, the committee dealt with the 1991 Gulf War, the 2003 War in Iraq, and several treaties. The Judiciary Committee dealt with the choice of Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, and others for the Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Biden thought that Thomas and Bork should not be on the Court. Though U.S. senators work in Washington, DC, Biden took the train home to Delaware every night.
Running for President and Vice President[change | change source]
Biden ran for President three times, in 1988, 2008 and 2020. The first time he was viewed as a good choice early on, but quit after it was discovered he gave a speech that was copied from Neil Kinnock, a British politician.
Biden tried again to get the Democratic Party's nomination in the 2008 presidential election. He ran mostly on foreign issues, especially getting U.S. troops out of Iraq. Many thought of him as a good choice for Secretary of State. He stopped his campaign on January 3, 2008 after he did not get many votes in the Iowa caucus. However, he later became Barack Obama's pick for Vice President due to what he knew about Iraq and because the working class liked him.
When Biden was running for President, he criticized Obama, talking about his lack of experience, but later he supported Obama to become president. His opponent as Vice President was Sarah Palin, who had less experience but was seen as more interesting by the media. Before the election, there were debates between the different candidates running for president or vice president. In the debate between Biden and Palin, many people believed that he knew more about running America than Palin did. When Obama was elected President on November 4, 2008, Biden was elected Vice President.
As Vice President[change | change source]
This section needs more information. (May 2020)
Biden became Vice President on January 20, 2009, and is the first person from Delaware and first Roman Catholic to be Vice President. When Biden became Vice President, he said he would do things differently from Dick Cheney, who had been Vice President before him. Biden has said that his vice-presidency will not be like any other.
Biden's main role was as an advisor to Obama, mostly on issues of foreign policy and the economy. Obama has asked for Biden's input on most of his major decisions, such as who to put in his Cabinet and how to fight the War in Afghanistan. Obama has put him in charge of groups to deal with the problems of the working class, as well as to watch the money in his stimulus bill. Biden had also traveled to the Middle East several times on behalf of Obama and the U.S. while Vice President. In 2011, Biden lead talks on the budget and the debt. On November 6, 2012, Biden was re-elected for a second term as Vice President along with President Barack Obama.
After winning the election, Biden served the Vice Presidency until January 20, 2017.
2016 presidential election[change | change source]
In August 2015, Biden said that he was looking for a possible chance of running for President again in the 2016 U.S. election. Biden formed a PAC for his possible run. On October 21, speaking from a podium in the Rose Garden with his wife and President Obama by his side, Biden announced his decision not to enter the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency for the 2016 election.
2020 presidential election[change | change source]
During a tour of the U.S. Senate with reporters before leaving office on December 5, 2016, Biden said that a presidential bid was possible in the 2020 presidential election, after leaving office as Vice President. While on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on December 7, he stated "never say never" about running for President in 2020, while also admitting he did not see a scenario in which he would run for office again. On January 13, 2017, exactly one week before Donald Trump took office. he said he would not run. However, four days later, on January 17, he took the statement back, saying "I'll run if I can walk."
He formally launched his campaign on April 25, 2019.
In April 2020, Biden became the only candidate in the primary making him the presumptive nominee for the nomination. At first, he lost the first three primary contests to Senator Bernie Sanders. After winning the South Carolina primary, he gained traction and won most of the Super Tuesday races.
Biden promised when elected he would protect Roe v. Wade decision, create a public option for health insurance, decriminalization of recreational cannabis, pass the Equality Act, create free community college, and a $1.7 trillion climate plan supporting the Green New Deal. He supports regulation instead of a complete ban on fracking.
In early 2020, Biden promised he would pick a woman as his running mate. He also promised that his first Supreme Court appointment would be a black woman. In August 2020, he picked California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.
On November 3, 2020, FiveThirtyEight's statistical model projected that Biden had a 89% chance to defeat Donald Trump. He defeated Trump in the general election after officially being projected as the winner on November 7, 2020. With more than 81 million votes, Biden received the most votes ever cast for a candidate in a U.S. presidential election.
President of the United States[change | change source]
Transition[change | change source]
He became the second non-incumbent vice president to be elected president, and the first Democrat to do so. He is also expected to become the oldest president at the time of inauguration, as well as the first president from Delaware.
At first, General Services Administrator Emily W. Murphy did not want to acknowledge Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. On November 23, however, she formally recognized Biden as the apparent winner of the 2020 election and authorized the start of a transition process to the Biden administration.
First days[change | change source]
Biden was inaugurated shortly before noon on January 20, 2021 as the 46th president of the United States. At 78, he is the oldest person to become president. He is the second Catholic president (after John F. Kennedy) and the first president whose home state is Delaware.
In his first two days as president, Biden signed 17 executive orders, more than most recent presidents did in their first 100 days. Biden signed more executive orders than any other president since Franklin D. Roosevelt had in their first month in office. His first actions were rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, ending the state of national emergency at the border with Mexico, rejoining the World Health Organization, a 100-day mandatory face mask requirements on federal property and acts to stop hunger in the United States.
On March 11, 2021, the first anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus relief package. The package included direct payments to most Americans, an extension of increased unemployment benefits, funds for vaccine distribution and school reopenings, support for small businesses and state and local governments, and expansions of health insurance subsidies and the child tax credit. Biden tried to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but removed it from the stimulus package after criticism from both parties.
In March 2021, when there was an increase in migrants coming to the United States from Mexico, Biden told migrants: "Don't come over." He said that the U.S. was arranging a plan for migrants to "apply for asylum in place", without leaving their original locations. In the meantime, migrant adults "are being sent back", Biden said, in reference to the continuation of the Trump administration's Title 42 policy for quick deportations. Biden earlier announced that his administration would not deport unaccompanied migrant children and told the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help take care of children separated at the border.
Allegations of physical misconduct[change | change source]
There have been many photographs of Biden hugging, kissing, and touching women and/or children in what commentators said to be inappropriate. Biden has said that the behavior had got him in trouble in the past.
In March 2019, former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores said that Biden kissed her without consent at a 2014 campaign rally in Las Vegas. Flores wrote that Biden walked up behind her, put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head. In an interview with HuffPost, Flores stated she believed Biden's behavior should force him not to run in 2020. By early April 2019, a total of seven women had made such allegations regarding Biden.
In April 2019, former Biden staffer Tara Reade said that she had felt uncomfortable many times when Biden touched her on her shoulder and neck while working in his Senate office in 1993. In March 2020, Reade said Biden had pushed her against a wall and penetrated her while on Capitol Hill in 1993. Biden denied the allegations.
Personal life[change | change source]
While in college, he married his first wife, Nelia Hunter. They had three children: two sons (Beau and Robert) and a daughter (Naomi). After college, he became a lawyer and served on a County Council, a group of people who run a county. In 1972, Biden's family got into a car accident. Nelia and Naomi were killed, and Beau and Robert were hurt very badly. Both survived the accident. Beau was the Attorney General in Delaware until January 2015 and served as a soldier in Iraq. Beau died from brain cancer on May 30, 2015 in Bethesda, Maryland at the age of 46.. Biden thought of resigning as Vice President because of his son's death.
Biden married his second wife, Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden, in 1977. She is a teacher and the former Second Lady of the United States. In 1981, they had a daughter, Ashley, who is now a social worker. In 1988, Biden suffered from bleeding in his brain and needed brain surgery twice. Because of what he saw in his family and neighborhood, Biden does not drink alcohol.
Awards and honors[change | change source]
Biden has received honorary degrees from the University of Scranton (1976), Saint Joseph's University (1981), Widener University School of Law (2000), Emerson College (2003), his alma mater the University of Delaware (2004), Suffolk University Law School (2005), and his other alma mater Syracuse University (2009).
Biden got the Chancellor Medal from his alma mater, Syracuse University, in 1980. In 2005, he got the George Arents Pioneer Medal—Syracuse's highest alumni award—"for excellence in public affairs."
In 2008, Biden got the Best of Congress Award, for "improving the American quality of life through family-friendly work policies," from Working Mother magazine. Also in 2008, Biden shared with fellow Senator Richard Lugar the Hilal-i-Pakistan award from the Government of Pakistan, "in recognition of their consistent support for Pakistan." In 2009, Biden got The Golden Medal of Freedom award from Kosovo, that region's highest award, for his vocal support for their independence in the late 1990s.
Biden is an member of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association Hall of Fame.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
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He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck.
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Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joe Biden.|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Joe Biden|
|Wikisource has original writing related to this article:|
- White House official biography
- Joe Biden at the Open Directory Project
- Senate campaign website (archived)
- Biography at WhoRunsGov.com at The Washington Post
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Voting record maintained by The Washington Post
- Congressional profile at GovTrack.us
- Issue positions and quotes at On The Issues
- Financial information at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance at LegiStorm.com
- Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Works by or about Joe Biden in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Joe Biden on IMDb