Who are Joe Biden’s family? From controversial son Hunter to tragic deaths of two children
The 2020 US presidential candidate – who battled Donald Trump in the 2020 US election – has suffered inconceivable heartbreak in his personal life.
The 2020 US presidential candidate – who battled Donald Trump in the 2020 election – previously served as the 47th vice president of the United States in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017.
Prior to his role in the White House, Biden served as United States Senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009 as a member of the Democratic Party.
But behind closed doors, Biden had been dealing with a number of heartbreaking events.
The Scranton-born politician tied the knot with first wife Neilia Hunter in 1966, with the pair welcoming three children later on.
The pair soon welcomed sons Beau and Hunter, as well as daughter Naomi.
But horror struck just one year after Naomi’s birth, as Neilia took their daughter out for Christmas shopping.
Neilia and Naomi both tragically died in a car crash during that outing, leaving Joe to raise his three- and four-year old sons, Beau and Hunter, alone.
Joe tied the knot with Jill in 1977, just two years after the pair met on a blind date that was set up by a mutual friend.
The pair had an instant connection after first meeting each other, but it took a whopping five times for Joe to pop the question to Jill before she said yes.
Jill previously married young and was already divorced by the time she was 24, so she wanted to make sure this was a relationship that was built to last.
She previously said she had to be “100 per cent sure this marriage would last until death do us part”, so his sons didn’t lose another mother.
After tying the knot with Joe and raising his boys as her own, Jill and Joe welcomed daughter Ashley in 1981.
Shifting gears to politics, Jill spent eight years serving as the Second Lady during the Obama administration.
Beau Biden was Joe and Neilia’s first son, born in 1969.
A University of Pennsylvania graduate, he was a law clerk for a New Hampshire judge before joining the US justice department from 1995 until 2002, including five years as a federal prosecutor.
In 2001, he volunteered for an assignment training judges and prosecutors in post-war Kosovo.
He also served a year-long deployment in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star.
Beau tied the knot with Hallie Olivere in 2002, and the couple went on to welcome two children.
The pair welcomed daughter Natalie in 2004, and son Robert in 2006.
Beau gained national prominence after he introduced his father at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on the night in 2008 when Joe Biden accepted the vice presidential nomination.
But in 2010, he suffered a mild stroke and three years later underwent surgery at a cancer centre in Texas to remove what was described as a small lesion.
The politician underwent surgery for brain cancer after he was diagnosed in August 2013 and was given a clean bill of health by medics.
But in 2015 horror struck, as Beau tragically died of brain cancer just 10 days after being readmitted to hospital.
The dad-of-two’s death came just a year before his planned race for governor of Delaware.
Speaking about her step-son’s tragic death, Jill said earlier this year: “After our son, Beau, died of cancer, I wondered if I would ever smile or feel joy again. It was summer, but there was no warmth left for me.
“Four days after Beau’s funeral, I watched Joe shave and put on his suit. I saw him steel himself in the mirror, take a breath, put his shoulders back, and walk out into a world empty of our son. He went back to work. That’s just who he is.”
Joe and his late wife Neilia welcomed Robert Hunter Biden in 1970.
Usually referred to by his middle name, Hunter currently works as an attorney and is the founder of venture capital firm Eudora Global.
Hunter, 50, tied the knot with first wife Kathleen in 1993, and the pair went on to welcome three children.
The pair eventually welcomed three daughters; Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy.
In 2017, Hunter divorced from Kathleen Buhle, with whom he shares three children: Naomi (named after her late aunt), Finnegan, and Maisy Biden.
Naomi was named after Joe Biden’s late daughter who died in 1972.
Earlier this year, Naomi graduated from Columbia Law School, with her granddad Joe giving a keynote speech to graduates.
Previously, she studied at the University of Pennsylvania before graduating in 2016, alongside Donald Trump’s daughter Tiffany.
Naomi’s dad Hunter has been heavily talked about when it came to his struggles with substance abuse as well as his “tumultuous personal life”.
Speaking about the conversations he was forced to have with his politician dad Joe, Hunter told the New Yorker: “I’m saying sorry to him, and he says, ‘I’m the one who’s sorry,’ and we have an ongoing debate about who should be more sorry.
“And we both realise that the only true antidote to any of this is winning. He says, ‘Look, it’s going to go away.’ There is truly a higher purpose here, and this will go away. So can you survive the assault?”
He also previously opened up about living with addiction, telling the mag: “Look, everybody faces pain. Everybody has trauma.
“There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel – it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”
His personal life was soon plastered all over the news after he sparked up a relationship with Hallie – his late brother Beau’s widow.
Speaking about the controversial relationship, he told New Yorker: “We were sharing a very specific grief. I started to think of Hallie as the only person in my life who understood my loss.”
Hallie and Hunter eventually separated in 2019, with Hunter going on to tie the knot with South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen that same year.
Joe and Jill’s only biological child Ashley Biden was born in 1981.
The pair’s youngest child graduated from Tulane University in Louisiana, before becoming the executive director of criminal justice reform-oriented nonprofit Delaware Center for Justice.
Ashley, 39, has also dipped into social work before her nonprofit work, previously working in Delaware for 15 years.
When she was younger, Ashley is reported to have a great influence on her dad’s political ambitions.
Delaware Today reports that Ashley once approached Joe with “prepared with research and posters and talk about how we needed to save the dolphins”.
Her extensive research then led Joe to collaborate with Congresswoman Barbara Boxer for the 1990 Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act.