AKA Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.
Birthplace: Scranton, PA
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Vice President of the United States
Joe Biden represented Delaware in the US Senate from the time Nixon was President until becoming Vice President under Barack Obama in 2009. He was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970, and two years later ran for the US Senate, promising "morality in government" and strongly opposing the Vietnam War. He defeated incumbent Republican J. Caleb Boggs a few weeks before his 30th birthday, and was a Senator for more than half his life.
He was a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he voted against confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts. He wrote the Violence Against Women Act, which federalized domestic violence as a crime. He was a proponent of the 2005 charges to bankruptcy law which made filing bankruptcy much more difficult. He voted for the PATRIOT Act in 2001, then argued against renewing it in 2005, before voting for legislation that generally renewed the PATRIOT Act's powers in 2006.
Biden was the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and sharply criticized other Democrats who were less supportive or opposed. More recently he has called for "decentralizing" Iraq, a plan that he says would give of its major ethnic groups semi-autonomy, and called for more of a US military presence there.
For decades Biden has been at the forefront of the war on drugs, supporting new prohibitions against methamphetamine, Ecstasy, steroids used by athletes, and other new drugs as they became popular. Biden wrote the legislation that created the position of a national "Drug Czar", and his Anti-Drug Proliferation Act provides 20-year prison sentences for club owners, concert promoters, and people who throw parties in their home if drug use takes place in such settings.
He wholeheartedly supported the actions of federal agents in the Waco standoff, and visibly sneered at witnesses in Senate hearings who questioned whether agents' acts were beyond the pale. He was a key proponent of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994, which banned some kinds of semiautomatic rifles, with a sunset provision that allowed these weapons to become legal again ten years later. The law also allocated substantial funds for construction of new prisons, established boot camps for delinquent minors, and brought the death penalty for crimes related to drug dealing, civil-rights related murders, murder of a Federal officer, and acts classified as terrorism.
Biden was a candidate for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, but his campaign was derailed when he was caught using plagiarized sections from a British politician's speech in his own speeches, including first-person descriptions that were not applicable to Biden's life. Biden said he had simply forgotten to mention that he was quoting someone else, and indeed, in numerous earlier and subsequent deliveries of the same anecdotes he did include proper credit. Months later, after complaining of recurring headaches, he underwent surgery for two near-fatal brain aneurysms.
Over his long career in the Senate, Biden's biggest financial supporter was the credit card company MBNA, until it was swallowed by Bank of America. His son, Hunter Biden, was hired as a management trainee at MBNA straight out of law school, and was quickly promoted to executive vice president. The younger Biden has since left MBNA to establish his own lawyer-and-lobbying firm. In 2006, Hunter Biden was appointed by President Bush to a five-year term on the Amtrak Reform Board.
Joseph Biden's net worth is estimated at $100-150k.
 Zachary A. Goldfarb, "Measuring Wealth of the '08 Candidates", The Washington Post, 24 March 2007. The article estimates Biden's net worth at $100-150K, with the following explanation: "Biden has spent virtually his whole life in public service and does not have much else aside from investments in a small array of mutual funds and cash accounts. He received a $112,000 advance from Random House for a book in 2005." What is not clear is how a member of the US Senate could be so poor after 35 years. Goldfarb's sources are not disclosed. Barring a plausible reason, we are highly skeptical of the figures. The salary of a US Senator in 1996 was $133K, and by 2006 reached $165K.
Father: Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr. (auto dealer, b. 13-Nov-1915, d. 2-Sep-2002)
Mother: Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden ("Jean", b. 1918, m. 1949, d. 8-Jan-2010)
Brother: James Brian Biden
Sister: Valerie Biden Owens (PR exec and manager of Biden's campaigns)
Brother: Francis W. Biden (Director, Office of Congressional, Legislative, and Public Affairs)
Wife: Neilia Hunter Biden (college sweetheart, m. 1966, d. 18-Dec-1972 car crash)
Son: Beau Biden (Attorney General of Delaware)
Son: R. Hunter Biden (lawyer-lobbyist)
Daughter: Naomi Christina Biden ("Amy", b. 1971, d. 18-Dec-1972 car crash)
Wife: Jill Jacobs Biden (m. 17-Jun-1977, one daughter)
Daughter: Ashley Blazer Biden (b. 8-Jun-1981)
High School: Archmere Academy, Claymont, DE (1961)
University: BA History, University of Delaware (1965)
University: BA Political Science, University of Delaware (1965)
Law School: JD, Syracuse University Law School (1968)
Teacher: Constitutional Law, Widener University School of Law (1981-)
US Vice President (2009-)
US Senator, Delaware (1973-2009)
Alfalfa Club 2002
American Bar Association
Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Biden for President
Close Up Foundation Board of Advisors
Delaware State Bar Association 1969
National Student Leadership Conference Honorary Board of Advisors
Obama for America
Brain Surgery Walter Reed Army Medical Center (May-1988)
Draft Deferment: Vietnam (1963-68, five 2-S deferments, ruled 1-Y in 1968)
Roast: Bob Schieffer (2004)
Funeral: Tom Lantos (2008)
Funeral: Jesse Helms (2008)
Funeral: Ted Kennedy (2009)
Funeral: Robert Byrd (2010)
Secret Service Codename Celtic
Risk Factors: Stuttering
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (7-Aug-2009) · Himself
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