Inside Biden's Marriage

By YourTango

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

Jill Jacobs was born Hammonton, NJ in 1951 and grew up in Willow Grove, PA. She, too, attended the University of Delaware for undergrad education, but left early after getting engaged. When her marriage didn't work out Jill returned to college as a senior, at age 24. In addition to her BA, she has two masters' degrees and a doctorate in education.

From 1993 to present Jill has been a professor of English at Delaware Technical and Community College. In 1993 she started the non-profit Biden Breast Health Initiative after three friends developed breast cancer and one of them died. She's also involved with Book Buddies, which provides books to low-income children, and Delaware Boots on the Ground, which helps military families.


The Bidens place a high value on family; Joe's two sons were an integral part of their courtship. “We dated together,” Jill told the Iowa Independent. “We got married as a family. We were all there and the boys were on the alter when we got married.”

Beau Biden, now the Delaware Attorney General, told Jay Leno that Joe and Jill "dated for a while, and we had to tell our dad 'When are you gonna ask Jill to marry you? I think he knew right away, but we kind of coaxed him.  And soon thereafter my brother and my dad and I asked my mom to marry us."

In Promises to Keep, Joe's 2007 autobiography, he describes the wedding: "We hadn’t told anybody but our family and closest friends. The ceremony itself was family only—but that counted nearly forty. Beau and Hunter stood with us at the altar. Since all four of us were getting married we [thought we] should include the boys on the honeymoon."

According to Promises to Keep, when Joe asked Jill how she could marry him, knowing how much he had loved his first wife, she replied, "That's the reason I can marry you. Anybody that can love that deeply once can do it again." Joe and Jill have one daughter together, Ashley Biden, born in 1981.

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