Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born November 20, 1942) is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama. A Democrat, he was a United States Senator from Delaware from January 3, 1973 until his resignation on January 15, 2009, following his election to the Vice Presidency.
Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and lived there for ten years before moving to Delaware. He became an attorney in 1969, and was elected to a county council in 1970. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 and became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history. He was re-elected to the Senate six times, was the fourth most senior senator at the time of his resignation, and is the 15th-longest serving Senator in history. Biden was a long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. His strong advocacy helped bring about U.S. military assistance and intervention during the Bosnian War. He opposed the Gulf War in 1991. He voted in favor of the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, but later proposed resolutions to alter U.S. strategy there. He has also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties, and led creation of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and Violence Against Women Act. He chaired the Judiciary Committee during the contentious U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008, both times dropping out early in the race. Barack Obama selected Biden to be the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Biden is the first Roman Catholic and the first Delawarean to become Vice President of the United States. As Vice President, Biden has been heavily involved in Obama's decision-making process and held the oversight role for infrastructure spending from the Obama stimulus package aimed at counteracting the late-2000s recession. His ability to negotiate with Congressional Republicans played a key role in bringing about the bipartisan deals that resulted in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that resolved a taxation deadlock and the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved the United States debt ceiling crisis.
Early Life and Education
Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr. (1915–2002) and Catherine Eugenia "Jean" (née Finnegan; 1917–2010). He was the first of four siblings in a Catholic family. His mother was of Irish descent, with roots in County Londonderry. His paternal grandparents, Mary Elizabeth (Robinette) and Joseph H. Biden, an oil businessman from Baltimore, had English, Irish, and French ancestry. He has two brothers, James Brian Biden and Francis W. Biden, and a sister, Valerie (Biden) Owens. His maternal great-grandfather, Edward F. Blewitt, was a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate.
Biden's father had been very well-off earlier in his life, but had suffered several business reverses by the time Biden was born, and for several years the family had to live with Biden's maternal grandparents, the Finnegans. When the Scranton area went into economic decline during the 1950s, Biden's father could not find enough work. 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. Joe Biden Sr. then did better as a used car salesman, and the family's circumstances were middle class.
Biden attended the Archmere Academy in Claymont, where he was a standout halfback/wide receiver on the high school football team; he helped lead a perennially losing team to an undefeated season in his senior year. He played on the baseball team as well. During these years, he participated in an anti-segregation sit-in at a Wilmington theatre. Academically, Biden was undistinguished, but he was a natural leader among the students. He graduated in 1961.
Biden attended the University of Delaware in Newark, where he was more interested in sports and socializing than in studying, although his classmates were impressed by his cramming abilities. He played halfback with the Blue Hens freshman football team, but he dropped a junior year plan to play for the varsity team as a defensive back, enabling him to spend more time with his out-of-state girlfriend. He double majored in history and political science and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1965, ranked 506th of 688 in his class.
He went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University's College of Law in 1968, where by his own description he found it to be "the biggest bore in the world" and pulled many all-nighters to get by. During his first year there, he was accused of having plagiarized 5 of 15 pages of a law review article. Biden said it was inadvertent due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, and he was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F, which was subsequently dropped from his record. He was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1969.
Biden received five student draft deferments during this period, with the first coming in late 1963 and the last in early 1968, at the peak of the Vietnam War. In April 1968, he was reclassified by the Selective Service System as not available for service due to having had asthma as a teenager. Biden was not a part of the anti-Vietnam War movement; he would later say that at the time he was preoccupied with marriage and law school, and that he "wore sports coats ... not tie-dyed".
Negative impressions of drinking alcohol in the Biden and Finnegan families and in the neighborhood led to Joe Biden becoming a teetotaler. Biden suffered from stuttering through much of his childhood and into his twenties; he overcame it via long hours spent reciting poetry in front of a mirror.
On August 27, 1966, Biden, then a law student, married Neilia Hunter, who was from an affluent background in Skaneateles, New York and had attended Syracuse University. They had met in 1964 while on spring break in the Bahamas, and he had overcome her parents' initial reluctance for her to be dating a Roman Catholic. They had three children, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III (born 1969), Robert Hunter (born 1970), and Naomi Christina (born 1971).
From : www.wikipedia.org