How Joe Biden went from being a kid from Scranton to a six-term Senator, VP, and now the President-elect

Joe Biden

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President-elect Joe Biden is turning 78 years old on Friday, November 20, making him the oldest person to take office as US president in history. 

After two unsuccessful runs for president in 1988 and 2008, a hard-fought 2020 Democratic primary with over a dozen opponents, and running a general election campaign during a pandemic, Biden achieved his decades-long goal of winning the presidency. 

Biden and Vice president-elect Kamala Harris are now preparing to take over the White House as the United States enters one of the most challenging times in recent history with cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, skyrocket nationwide and many Americans descend into further economic distress. 

Biden has long used his resiliency against adversity and his own personal struggles with grief and loss to connect with and reassure voters.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on November 20, 1942, Biden moved with his family to Mayfield, Delaware, when he was 13 years old. From the get-go, he faced many trials growing up, including bullies and an embarrassing stutter.

As he says his father, a used car salesman, taught him, “The measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up.”

Throughout his long political career, Biden has overcome numerous family tragedies and challenges to achieve his political dreams.

Here’s how a kid from Scranton became a six-term senator, vice president, and now the 46th President-elect.

Joe Perticone, Michal Kranz, and Natalie Colorassi contributed to an earlier version of this article.

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Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, where he developed an interest in politics following President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. During his first two years, though, he was mainly interested in football and partying.

Source:, Times

He met his first wife Neilia on a spring break trip in the Bahamas his junior year. The couple had three children: Joseph “Beau” Hunter III, Robert Hunter, and Naomi Christina Hunter.

Sources: Biography, CNN

Fresh out of University of Syracuse law school in 1968, Biden started working as a defense attorney in Wilmington, Delaware, and launched his own law firm in 1971. He first entered politics as a member of the New Castle County Council in 1970.

After encouragement from the Democratic Party, Biden ran for US Senate in 1972 and won, unseating Republican J. Caleb Boggs to become the fifth-youngest senator in history. He would continue serving as Delaware’s senator for over 30 years.

Sources: Biography, CNN

A month after the election, Biden’s wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed in a car accident while Christmas shopping on December 18, 1972. The crash also left his two sons Hunter and Beau seriously injured.

Sources: Biography, CNN

Despite his intense personal loss, Biden was sworn in as Senator in January of 1973 from a hospital in Wilmington where his sons were still recovering from …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Life

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