Jessica: Joe Biden was Delaware’s longest serving senator, but his 40 year political career almost didn’t happen.
Here’s a look at the events that shaped the Vice President.
Joe Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1942.
Growing up in a middle class neighborhood, he says he took on bullies and learned how to overcome stuttering.
But his family fell on hard times and Biden’s family had to move in with his grandfather.
When his father couldn’t find a job, the family moved to Delaware.
“My dad – my dad, who fell on hard times, always told me though: “Champ, when you get knocked down, get up. Get up.”
He helped his struggling high school football team to go undefeated senior year.
After graduation Biden attended the University of Delaware, then studied law at Syracuse University.
While earning his law degree he married Nelia Hunter in 1966, and they started a family.
Biden became a trial lawyer. But it wasn’t long before he ventured into politics
In 1972, Biden defeated an incumbent Republican and became a U.S. Senator at the age of 29 – one of the youngest Senators ever.
The future couldn’t have looked brighter.
But about a month after Biden’s surprise victory, tragedy struck
His wife and daughter were killed in a car crash that injured his two young sons.
Biden was shattered by the loss, and says he considered giving up his Senate seat.
“I felt like a piece of me died.”
But he was sworn into office at the hospital where his sons were still recovering.
And to this day, the vice president refuses to work on December 18 – the anniversary of the accident.
Eventually the Delaware Senator worked his way up the ranks, serving on several powerful committees.
During that time that he was introduced to Jill Jacobs, a school teacher.
They married in 1977 and had a daughter.
In 1987, Biden decided to make a run for President.
But during the campaign, he was accused of plagiarizing, or copying the words of a British politician, in one of his speeches.
The allegations forced Biden to end his campaign.
“There’ll be other presidential campaigns.”
During the 90s, Biden worked closely with president bill Clinton, helping with humanitarian issues around the world
Biden decided to make another run for the white house in January 2007, but soon dropped out when his campaign failed to pick up steam. Months later, when Barack Obama was looking for a running mate with foreign policy experience, he turned to Biden.
.”…because nobody messes with Joe.”
Biden helped on many projects overseas, including the war in Iraq, where his son Beau was serving.
Now, Joe Biden is hoping to begin a second term as the Obama administration’s vice president.