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Beau Biden
44th Attorney General of Delaware
Assumed office
January 2, 2007
Governor Ruth Ann Minner
Jack Markell
Preceded by Carl Danberg
Personal details
Born Joseph Robinette Biden III
(1969-02-03)February 3, 1969
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Died May 30, 2015(2015-05-30) (aged Error: Need valid year, month, day)
Resting place St. Joseph's on the Brandywine
39.77211 N

75.58849 W

Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Hallie Biden
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Syracuse University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Personal website
Government website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch U.S. Army
Years of service 2002–present
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Unit NGARMY.PNG Delaware Army National Guard
Battles/wars Iraq War

Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III (February 3, 1969 – May 30, 2015) was an American attorney, Army JAG officer, and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He served as the Attorney General of Delaware and a major in the Delaware Army National Guard. He was formally a member of the Democratic Party and was the eldest son of Joe Biden.

Early life and family

Biden was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the eldest son of former U.S. Senator and former Vice President Joe Biden, and his first wife, Neilia Hunter. His mother and younger sister, Naomi Christina Biden, were killed in an automobile accident in 1972, in which he and his brother Hunter were badly injured. He and his brother encouraged his father to remarry,[1] and Jill Jacobs became Beau's stepmother in 1977. His half-sister Ashley was born in 1981. He is a graduate of Archmere Academy, his father's high school alma mater, as well as the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity; and Syracuse University College of Law, as is his father. From 1995 to 2004, he worked at the United States Department of Justice in Philadelphia, first as Counsel to the Office of Policy Development and later as a Federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office. In 2004, he became a partner in the Wilmington law firm Bifferato, Gentilotti, Biden & Balick.

He and his wife, Hallie, have two children: a daughter, Natalie, and a son, Hunter.[2][3]

At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, after Joe Biden was nominated for Vice President of the United States, Beau introduced his father. He recounted the auto accident that killed his mother and sister and the subsequent parenting commitment his father made to his sons, a speech at which many delegates wept.[4][5]

Military service

Biden joined the military in 2003[6] as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard and was recently promoted to the rank of Major in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps as part of the 261st Signal Brigade in Smyrna, Delaware.[7][8] Biden's unit was activated to deploy to Iraq on October 3, 2008, and sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, for pre-deployment training,[9] the day after his father participated in the 2008 presidential campaign's only vice presidential debate. His father is on the record as saying, "I don't want him going. But I tell you what, I don't want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years, and so how we leave makes a big difference."[10] Biden traveled to Washington, D.C., from Iraq in January 2009 for the presidential inauguration and his father's swearing-in as Vice President,[11] then returned to Iraq.[12] Biden received a visit at Camp Victory from his father on July 4, 2009.[13] Biden returned from Iraq in September 2009, his yearlong deployment complete.[14] Biden had announced that during his deployment he would continue to actively serve as Delaware's Attorney General by working in conjunction with his office's senior staff in Delaware,[15] although a member of his unit related Biden saying he had turned over most of his attorney general work to his deputy so as to focus on his duties in Iraq.[16]

Political career

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden at a Justice Department press conference.

In his first bid at political office, Biden ran for Attorney General of Delaware in 2006. Biden's opponent was a veteran state prosecutor and Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ferris Wharton. Major issues in the campaign included the candidates' experience and proposed efforts to address sex offenders, Internet predators, senior abuse, and domestic abuse. Biden won the election by approximately five percentage points.

After being elected, he appointed former Delaware Attorney General and International Judge Richard S. Gebelein as Chief Deputy Attorney General, and former assistant U.S. Attorney Richard G. Andrews was appointed as State Prosecutor. As Attorney General, Biden has supported and enforced stronger registration requirements for sex offenders.[17][18]

Joe Biden's election as Vice President in the 2008 presidential election left a vacancy in the U.S. Senate upon the time he would resign his seat. Beau was once believed to have been a frontrunner for the seat, but, while deployed in Iraq, stated that he would not seek or accept an appointment to the Senate.[19] On November 24, 2008, Governor Ruth Ann Minner named Ted Kaufman to the seat, but Kaufman indicated he would not be a candidate in the 2010 special election. This fueled speculation Beau would run at that time.[20] Biden's father stated after the announcement of Kaufman's appointment, "It is no secret that I believe my son, Attorney General, would make a great United States Senator just as I believe he has been a great attorney general. But Beau has made it clear from the moment he entered public life that any office he sought he would earn on his own ... [I]f he chooses to run for the Senate in the future, he will have to run and win on his own. He wouldn't have it any other way."[21] In October 2009, Biden stated that he was considering a run for the Senate and that he would make a final decision in January. On January 25, Biden confirmed that he would forgo a Senate run so as to better focus on the prosecution of Earl Bradley, an infamous pedophilia suspect.[22]

On November 2, 2010, he was easily reelected to a second term as Delaware Attorney General, beating Independent Party of Delaware candidate Doug Campbell by a huge margin.[23] He is the first person to have held an elected office while his father was in office as Vice-President.

Public offices
Office Type Location Elected Took office Term ends -style="background:#FFE6B0" Attorney General Executive Dover 2006 January 2, 2007 January 3, 2011 -style="background:#FFE6B0" Attorney General Executive Dover 2010 January 3, 2011 January 3, 2015
Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2006 Attorney General General Joseph R. Biden III Democratic 133,152 52.5% Ferris Wharton Republican 120,062 47.4%
2010 Attorney General General Joseph R. Biden III Democratic 196,799 78.9% Doug Campbell Delaware Independent 52,517 21.1%

Health concerns and Death

On May 11, 2010, Biden was admitted to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware, for what doctors described as a "mild stroke".[24][25]

In August 2013, he was admitted to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas.[26] On August 14, 2013, Biden reported feeling weak and disoriented during a family vacation in Indiana.[26] MD Anderson will be conducting tests, among them a biopsy.[26] Biden died from Brain Cancer on May 30, 2015.[27]


  1. Seelye, Katharine Q. (2008-08-24). "Jill Biden Heads Toward Life in the Spotlight". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  2. "Attorney General Joseph Robinette 'Beau' Biden III (DE)". Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  3. Banks, Adelle M. (2008-08-24). "Biden provides Catholic link, but renews abortion debate". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  4. Kevin Connolly (August 28, 2008). "Biden shows more bark than bite". BBC News. 
  5. John M. Broder (August 28, 2008). "Biden Opens New Phase With Attack on McCain". The New York Times. 
  6. AG Biden being Promoted Sunday WGMD News, Kelli Steele, November 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  7. "Joe Biden bids farewell to son , headed to Iraq", Los Angeles Times, Michael Finnegan, October 4, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-11-01.
  8. Delaware National Guard Office of the Staff Judge Advocate Webpage, retrieved on 2008-11-01.
  9. Shailagh Murray (August 20, 2008). "Biden's Son Off to Iraq". The Washington Post. 
  10. "Biden's Son Headed to Iraq in 2008". ABC News. 2007-08-16. 
  11. "gets D.C. duty, will attend inauguration". The News Journal.  January 15, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-28.
  12. Gibson, Ginger (2009-03-10). "Poll shows Castle over for Senate". The News Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-17. [dead link]
  13. Chon, Gina (2009-07-06). "Iraqis Say Reconciliation Is an Internal Matter". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  14. Chase, Randall (2009-10-01). "Vice president’s son returns from Iraq". Army Times. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  15. Biden, Beau (2008-09-29). "Open Letter to Delawareans". Attorney General of Delaware. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 
  16. "Beau Biden Lays Low Amidst Senate Talk". CBS News. 2009-10-23. Archived from the original on October 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  17. Nadia Singh (March 29, 2007). "Lawmakers Endorse Tougher Penalties On Sex Offenders". WMDT. 
  18. "Delaware's enhanced sex offender law starts". The News Journal. January 7, 2008. 
  19. "Rumors regarding Joe Biden III's potential run for his father's old seat in the U.S. Senate". Associated Press. [dead link]
  20. Former Biden advisor picked as Senate replacement
  21. Brumfield, Sarah (2008-11-25). "Attorney General of Delaware". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2008-11-25. [dead link]
  22. "D.C. Now". The Los Angeles Times. 2010-01-25. 
  23. 2010 Delaware election results
  24. "Biden's son recovering after 'mild stroke'.". Associated Press via 2010-05-11. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  25. "Beau Biden suffers apparent mild stroke, doctor says.". 2010-05-11. Archived from the original on May 14, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 (August 21, 2013). "NBC News: Beau Biden has mass on brain, undergoing tests at MD Anderson". Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  27. Washington Post:

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