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Democratic president-elect Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States

Joe Biden has won the presidency

November 7, 2020

Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump to become the 46th President of the United States of America on Saturday, Nov. 7th. Biden won the Presidency after winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. His running mate, Kamala Harris, is the first African-American, Asian, and woman vice president-elect.

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 20th, 1942, growing up as a Roman Catholic in a middle-class household.

However, Biden led most of his young life in Wilmington, Delaware, where he attended Archmere Academy. There, he was on the football team and participated in an anti-segregation sit-in. Biden was elected class president during his junior and senior years of high school and seen as a school leader, despite his poor grades.

After graduating high school in 1961,  went on to attend the University of Delaware, majoring in history and political science. Before his graduation in 1965, he met his future wife, Nelia Hunter, while on vacation in the Bahamas. Biden supposedly told his son, Hunter while they were dating that his goal was to become a senator by the age of 30 and then go on to be president.

For law school, Biden went to Syracuse University. Throughout his youth and into adulthood, Joe Biden had an issue with stuttering and tried to help the problem by reciting poetry in the mirror. His stuttering has been faulted with harming his debate performance throughout 2019 and 2020.

In 1966, Biden married Nelia Hunter and the two of them had three children: Joseph Biden III, Robert Biden, and Naomi Biden.

Two years after his marriage, Biden clerked for a law firm headed by Republican William Prickett in Wilmington. He said that he, “thought of myself as a Republican.” He supported local Republican politicians but registered as an independent out of distaste for Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon.

In 1969, Biden became a public defender and then quickly went on to work at a firm headed by Democrat Sud Balick. Biden then registered as a democrat and started his own law firm with partner Marty Walsh called Biden and Walsh.

When Biden was 27, he ran as a Democrat for the New Castle County Council and won in the district that usually voted to the right.

In 1972, Biden entered the U.S. Senate election for Delaware. Biden was the underdog in a race against Republican incumbent Sen. James Boggs. There was no other Democrat who wanted to run against Boggs as he had the full support of the Republican Party and President Nixon behind him. However, Biden campaigned with no money and with a staff exclusively comprised of members of his own family, including his sister who managed the campaign. The summer before the election, Biden trailed his adversary by over thirty points but went on to win the senate seat in November by only over three thousand votes.

Only a little more than a month later, Biden’s wife pulled out of an intersection with their three children in the car. The car was struck by a tractor-trailer, and Biden’s wife, Nelia, and their daughter Naomi were killed in the accident. His two sons survived but were hospitalized. Biden was in Washington, D.C. when he got the call that his wife and daughter had died and had to be sworn into the senate in his sons’ hospital room. 

Biden once said that after the accident, “I liked to [walk around seedy neighborhoods] at night when I thought there was a better chance of finding a fight … I had not known I was capable of such rage … I felt God had played a horrible trick on me.”

After the death of his wife and daughter, Biden often commuted from D.C. to Wilmington, Delaware to be with his sons on the Amtrak railway, so much so that he received the nickname in the senate “Amtrak Joe”. 

Biden met his future second wife, Jill. in 1975 after seeing a picture of her in an advertisement in a park and being set up on a blind date with her. 

Early in his senatorial career, Biden was focused especially on legislation centering on consumer protection and government accountability. He was named by Time magazine as one of the 200 Faces for the Future in 1974.

Biden was a leading opponent of desegregated busing in the senate, leading to many of his white supporters dropping him. 

In 1987, Biden attempted to run for President, but his campaign lacked cohesion due to rivalries among his staffers and it failed. Biden ran again for the 2008 presidential election, but eventually dropped out and ran with then-Senator Barack Obama as his running mate.

On Nov. 4th, 2008, Biden was elected the 47th vice president of the United States and continued in this role until 2017. In May of 2015, Joe “Beau” Biden, Biden’s eldest son, died of brain cancer after battling it since 2010.

In 2016, Biden considered running for President, but the recent death of his son contributed to his decision to delay his candidacy until the next election cycle. 

After the news was announced, Biden tweeted, “America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”

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