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Meet Joe Biden’s family – from tragic deaths to son’s controversial relationship
January 20, 2021
Washington is preparing for Joe Biden to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
Biden previously served as Vice President during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017.
Before that he served as US Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009, as a member of the Democratic Party.
But behind his successful career is a number of heartbreaking family tragedies which have helped shape the US president.
Before we go into Biden’s family tree, we have to mention a major tragedy in the family which would go on to shape his life forever.
Biden had three children with his first wife Neilia Hunter – two sons and daughter Naomi.
But horror struck just one year after Naomi was born when Neilia took the children out Christmas shopping.
The pair were both killed in a car crash which also injured sons Beau and Hunter – but they survived.
Beau Biden, born in 1969, was the first son of Joe and Neilia.
Joe’s firstborn graduated from University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a law clerk for a New Hampshire judge.
He then joined the US justice department from 1995 until 2002.
Beau also joined the military in 2003, earning the rank of Major in the US Army JAG Corps.
He served a year-long deployment in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star.
Eventually he was elected Attorney General of Delawere , which he served for two terms until 2014.
Unfortunately, Beau suffered a mild stroke in 2010, and three years later he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Joe’s firstborn underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, which put the cancer in remission.
But it returned in 2015, and the dad-of-two died 10 days after being hospitalised on May 30.
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Joe and his late wife welcomed Robert Hunter Biden in 1970.
Hunter, who prefers to go by his middle name, currently works as an attorney, and is the founder of venture capital firm Eudora Global.
The 50-year-old married his first wife Kathleen in 1993, and they had three children together – Naomi (after his late sister), Finnegan and Maisy.
Hunter has previously talked about his struggles with substance abuse and his “tumultuous personal life”.
Opening up about living with addiction, he previously told The New Yorker: “Look, everybody faces pain. Everybody has trauma.
"There's addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel – it's a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it."
Hunter controversially sparked up a relationship with Hallie – Beau’s widow, but they eventually separated in 2019.
Speaking about the relationship to the New Yorker, he said: “We were sharing a very specific grief. I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss.”
Hunter went on to marry South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen the same year.
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Joe married Jill in 1977, two years after they met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend.
It wasn’t love at first sight for Jill, but all it took was one date to the cinema to change her mind about the man who was nine years older than her.
He proposed to Jill five times before she was ready to say yes.
Speaking to Vogue, she explained her reason for waiting: “I said, ‘Not yet. Not yet. Because by that time, of course, I had fallen in love with the boys, and I really felt that this marriage had to work.
“Because they had lost their mom, and I couldn’t have them lose another mother. So I had to be 100% sure.”
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Joe and Jill went on to have daughter Ashley, who was born in 1981.
She graduated from Tulane University in Louisiana before becoming the the executive director of criminal justice reform-oriented nonprofit Delaware Center for Justice from 2014 to 2019.
She also worked as a social worker in Washington, and in Delaware for the state’s child services department.
Ashley also launched a launched a clothing company called Livelihood in 2017.
More recently, she teamed up with her half brother Hunter to introduce their father at the Democratic National Convention in August 2020.