Inside Biden's Marriage

By YourTango

Inside Biden's Marriage
Tango investigates Jill and Joe Biden's union.

Married Since: 1977
Family Album: Three children, five grandchildren

Joe Biden and Jill Jacobs met in 1975, set up on a blind date through Joe's brother, Frank. Joe had seen a beautiful woman in a local advertisement and later that night Frank gave Joe the woman's number, not knowing Joe had formed a crush from afar. Although she had almost sworn off dating after her failed first marriage, Jill said yes when Joe asked her out. They married two years later, the second marriage for both.


Joe Biden was born in Scranton, PA in 1942 and grew up outside Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1964, the same year he met his first wife, Neilia Hunter, whom he married in 1966. He graduated from Syracuse law school in 1968, and was elected to the United States Senate in in 1972, in a surprise victory over a Republican incumbent.

Six weeks after winning the election Neilia and their three children were out shopping for a Christmas tree when they were hit by an oncoming truck. Neilia and Naomi, their one-year-old daughter, were killed; their two- and three-year-old boys, Beau and Hunter, were seriously injured.

Joe was sworn into office from Beau's hospital room. Depressed and unenthusiastic, he almost gave up his new job. According to The New York Times, Senate staffers were placing bets on how long he would last. When he started work Joe told his staff that if his sons ever called he wanted to talk to them immediately, no matter what he was doing. A single father for 5 years, Joe made a daily two-hour Amtrak commute between DC and Wilmington. After marrying Jill he continued this practice; the family was never part of the DC political scene. Joe later said that the accident taught him "to always let the people you love know you love them, and never let something go unsaid."

Must-see Videos
Most Popular