Have you seen these photos of young Joe Biden?
Joe Biden—full name Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.—was born on November 20, 1941, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The 46th president of the United States is also the only US chief of state born between the Great Depression and the end of World War II.
He was the oldest of four kids in a family that had fallen through difficult times. His father cleaned furnaces and was, on occasion, a car salesman; his mother was a homemaker. When little Biden was in the third grade, the family decided to move from Pennsylvania to Delaware, where Biden would spend most of the rest of his life.
Some rare photos of young Joe Biden have recently become popular over the internet, so you’re about to see them as well if you haven’t yet. We’ve also rounded up some interesting facts about Biden’s youth. Check this out!
1. Childhood stutter
The child Biden struggled to overcome a debilitating stammer by planning conversations in advance and reciting memorized speeches to his reflection. Because of his stutter, he endured teasing from his classmates at the school.
The current president has been open about his lifelong condition with stuttering, saying that it still bothers him occasionally when he’s very tired. His stuttering, however, didn’t stop him from pursuing a lifetime career in public service. Clearly, Joe Biden is proof that a person can deal with stuttering and still aspire to the highest position in the country, one that relies on highly effective verbal communication.
2. School and military service
The young Joe Biden played American football at Archmere Academy, scoring an astonishing 19 touchdown passes as a wide receiver and running back. Moreover, he was class president in his junior and senior years of high school.
He did a great job on the football field, but went on to graduate from the University of Delaware and get a law degree from Syracuse University in New York.
The young Joe Biden was drafted for the Vietnam War, but he didn’t pass the medical examination due to asthma. He soon turned to politics, becoming one of the youngest US senators ever elected (he was 29).
3. He stayed in the state
Biden is the first chief of state since Ronald Reagan, who finished his term in 1989, to attend a state school to earn an undergraduate degree. Even former President Trump, who attended Fordham University for two years, transferred to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to complete his bachelor’s degree.
Even though the young Joe Biden was accepted into “one of the little Ivies,” he eventually decided to stay in state and went to attend the University of Delaware, where he double majored in political science and history.
According to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, even during his first year of undergrad at the University of Delaware, Biden already knew he wanted to go to law school and become a “political figure.”
4. The family tragedy
Here’s a fan-favorite picture of a 20-something Biden. Can you even tell it’s him? Anyway, let’s go forward because we have plenty more facts about Biden’s youth.
During the spring break of his junior year in college, the young Joe Biden met Meilia Hunter from Syracuse University, the one who would eventually become his first wife. After graduation, he decided to follow Hunter to New York, where he started his first year of law school at the Syracuse College of Law.
Shortly after meeting his first wife, Biden told her that he wanted to be president, as her friends later recalled. Unfortunately, he never got to see him become chief of state. On December 18, 1972, while Christmas shopping, Neilia Hunter Biden and her infant daughter, Naomi Biden, were killed in a severe car accident. His sons, Beau and Hunter, are seriously injured but survive.
Read on to learn other facts about the young Joe Biden!
5. Political career
The family tragedy made Biden unsure whether he should take his Senate seat, but he ultimately did. On January 5, 1973, the young Joe Biden was sworn in as US Senator of Delaware at his son’s bedside in the hospital. Even so, the then-single dad vowed that he’d step down if his Senate duties took too much time away from his sons.
Two years later, he became a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden went on to serve in the Senate for about 36 years, until 2009. He gained both praise and criticism during his time spent in the Senate, where he engaged in areas such as foreign affairs, criminal justice, and judicial appointments.
During his time in the Senate, the young Joe Biden commuted from Wilmington to Washington every day. That’s also the period when he remarried his current wife, Jill Tracy Jacobs. The two have a daughter together, Ashley.
6. Another family tragedy
The young Joe Biden attempted to rebuild his family in 1977, and things seemed to be going well until the 2000s, when they didn’t. Up until the 2000s, the Biden family led an apparently normal life; his kids grew up and made lives of their own.
His eldest son, Beau, for example, became Delaware’s attorney general and also served the country in Iraq. Sadly, tragedy soon struck again when Beau suffered a stroke in 2010. Three years later, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Biden’s son underwent multiple treatment methods, such as radiation and chemotherapy, and surgery to remove a mass from his brain. Unfortunately, these treatments proved to be ineffective, and Beau died in 2015. The tragic event ignited a passion within Joe Biden to support the fight against cancer.
7. He ran for president three times
The young Joe Biden launched his first presidential bid in 1987 but dropped out of the race contest later that fall. At the time, his campaign turned into a scandal after a video came out showing Biden giving a speech at the Iowa State Fair and quoting U.K. Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without attribution.
Biden later wrote in his 2008 memoirs “Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics,” which you can find here, that the blame fell totally on him when he stopped trying to explain to everybody.
The young Joe Biden ran again for president in 2008 before dropping out after finishing in fifth place in the Iowa caucuses. Then-Senafor Barack Obama announced Biden had joined his campaign in August of that year.
And finally, on his third run, Biden was elected to the presidency.
8. He was an adjunct professor
In 1991, Biden started teaching Congressional law at Widener University as an adjunct professor. He would set up his classroom around a single conference room to encourage dialogue and give the class a more realistic feel.
Biden also brought his students to a Senate meeting, where the Foreign Relations Committee gave them real-world experience. The young Joe Biden would step back from Widener University in 2008 to join Obama in his race for the presidency.
Which fact did you think was the most interesting? Let us know in the comments section!
If you liked our article on facts about young Joe Biden, you may also want to read 10 Ridiculous Joe Biden Moments.