Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was born 20 November 1942 in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States to Joseph Robinette Biden (1915-2002) and Catherine Eugenia (Jean) Finnegan (1917-2010) . He married Neilia Hunter (1942-1972) 27 August 1966 . He married Jill Tracy Jacobs (1951) 17 June 1977 .

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (/ˈbaɪdən/ BY-dən; born November 20, 1942) is an American politician. He previously served as the 47th vice president of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he and running mate Kamala Harris defeated the incumbent president Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.


Biden was born on November 20, 1942, at St. Mary's Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania,[1] to Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Biden (née Finnegan; 1917–2010)[2] and Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden Sr. (1915–2002).[3] He was the first of four siblings in a Catholic family, with a sister, Valerie, and two brothers, James and Frank, following.[4]



Joseph Sr.'s parents, Mary Elizabeth (née Robinette) Biden (1894–1943) and Joseph Harry Biden (1893–1941),[38][39] an oil businessman from Baltimore, Maryland, were of English, French, and Irish descent.[40][2]:8

Biden's paternal third great-grandfather, William Henry Biden (1789–1849), was born in England and emigrated to the United States, where he settled in Maryland. According to historian Eddy Greenfield, he was born in Sussex,[41][42] and was christened at St John the Baptist's Church, Westbourne in Westbourne, West Sussex on 8 March 1789.[42] William Henry was the second child and son of James Biden (born November 1767) and Ann Silverlock (born March 1766), who had married on 16 May 1785. James Biden, Biden's paternal fourth great-grandfather, was from Pagham. He was the son of Richard Biden, Biden's paternal fifth great-grandfather, and his wife Susan, beyond which the paternal family line cannot be traced.[42]

A possible connection may also exist to the family of a William Henry Biden (1791–1843), who was from Houghton, Cambridgeshire.[43] This William Henry was the son of a John Biden (died 28 July 1796) and his wife Ann Beaumont, who had married in 1781.[43] The seventh of eight children and the family's fifth son,[44] William Henry and his elder brother Christopher Biden (1789-1858) served as officers in the East India Company merchant marine, both eventually becoming captains of East Indiamen. William Henry commanded mid-sized vessels before his death at Rangoon in 1843.[45]

Christopher Biden subsequently became an official in the Madras Civil Service (later the Indian Civil Service), and his descendants settled in India. He died at Madras in 1858.[45] In 1981, Christopher's fourth-great-grandson Leslie Dunn Biden, then living in Nagpur, wrote to Joe Biden about the possible family connection after reading about him in the Illustrated Weekly of India, He received a response from Joe, and after discussing their genealogy, both promised to stay in touch, but did not resume correspondence before Leslie's death in 1983.[44] During a 2013 visit to India, Joe Biden referred to Leslie's letter, mentioning a "Biden from Mumbai" had suggested their "mutual great-great-great-great-something-or-other" named George had "worked for the East India Company back in the 1700s."[45]


Jean's parents were Geraldine Catherine Blewitt (1887-1949) and Ambrose Joseph Finnegan (1884-1957), an advertising salesman from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Jean was of Irish descent, with roots variously attributed to County Louth and County Londonderry.

Irish genealogists presented Joe Biden with his Irish maternal family history on his visit there in 2016. With Joe Biden having a great-great-grandfather (Patrick Blewitt) and a great-grandfather (James Finnegan) being born in Ireland, this makes Joe Biden 18.75% Irish.


Offspring of Joseph Robinette Biden (1915-2002) and Catherine Eugenia (Jean) Finnegan (1917-2010)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (1942) 20 November 1942 Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States Neilia Hunter (1942-1972)
Jill Tracy Jacobs (1951)
Valerie Biden
James Biden
Frank Biden

Childhood residences

Biden's father had been very well-off earlier in his life, but suffered several business reversals by the time Biden was born. For several years, the family had to live with Biden's maternal grandparents, the Finnegans.[5] When the Scranton area went into economic decline during the 1950s, Biden's father could not find enough work.[6] In 1953, the Biden family moved to an apartment in Claymont, Delaware, where they lived for a few years before moving to a house in Wilmington, Delaware.[5] Joe Biden Sr. then did better as a used car salesman, and the family's circumstances were middle class.[5][6][7]

Entry to politics

Biden became an attorney in 1969, and was elected to the New Castle County council in 1970. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, and became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history.


Offspring of Joe Biden and Neilia Hunter (1942-1972)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph Robinette 'Beau' Biden III (1969-2015)
Robert Hunter Biden (1970)
Naomi Christina Biden (1971-1972)

Offspring of Joe Biden and Jill Tracy Jacobs (1951)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Ashley Blazer Biden (1981)






  1. ^ Witcover, Joe Biden, p. 5.
  2. ^ Chase, Randall (January 9, 2010). "Vice President Biden's mother, Jean, dies at 92". Associated Press. WITN-TV. 
  3. ^ "Joseph Biden Sr., 86, father of the senator" (fee required). The Philadelphia Inquirer: p. B4. September 3, 2002. 
  4. ^ Witcover, Joe Biden, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b c Broder, John M. (October 23, 2008). "Father's Tough Life an Inspiration for Biden". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Rubinkam, Michael (August 27, 2008). "Biden's Scranton childhood left lasting impression". Associated Press. Fox News.,4670,CVNBidenapossScrantonRoots,00.html. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  7. ^ Almanac of American Politics 2008, p. 364.


  • Barone, Michael; Cohen, Richard E. (2008). The Almanac of American Politics. Washington: National Journal. ISBN 0-89234-116-5. 
  • Bronner, Ethan (1989). Battle for Justice: How the Bork Nomination Shook America. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-02690-6. 
  • Germond, Jack; Witcover, Jules (1989). Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency 1988. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-51424-1. 
  • Heilemann, John; Halperin, Mark (2010). Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-173363-6. 
  • Mayer, Jane; Abramson, Jill (1994). Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-63318-4. 
  • Moritz, Charles, ed (1987). Current Biography Yearbook 1987. New York: H. W. Wilson Company. 
  • Taylor, Paul (1990). See How They Run: Electing the President in an Age of Mediaocracy. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-57059-6. 
  • Witcover, Jules (2010). Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption. New York City: William Morrow. ISBN 0-06-179198-9. 
  • Wolffe, Richard (2009). Renegade: The Making of a President. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-307-46312-5. 

External links


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General