At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. Senator (1972 to 2008); New Castle County Council, Member (1970 to 1972); Attorney (1968 to 1970)
- Birthday: Nov. 20, 1942
- Hometown: Scranton, PA.
- Alma Mater: University of Delaware, B.A., 1965; Syracuse Law School, J.D., 1968
- Spouse: Dr. Jill Biden
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- Office: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500; 202-456-1111
Path to Power
Biden was born on Nov. 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pa., the oldest of four children. His father suffered a series of business setbacks that eventually forced the family to move in with Biden's grandparents.
The Bidens moved to the suburbs of Wilmington, Del., when Biden was a teenager. There, he practiced speeches night after night with his sister Valerie Biden Owens to get over a stutter. Valerie also ran her brother's first political campaign - for student council president - which he won. Biden wasn't a gifted student in high school, but he was an outstanding athlete.
In a series of interviews with the New Yorker, Biden sketched out his vision for the vice presidency. He says he would like to play a role in all key policy decisions and serve as chief liaison to Congress.
Six months in, that has largely turned out to be the case. Biden was tasked with convincing six Republicans to support the administration's economic stimulus package. He was able to convince three to do so, which made the difference between passage and failure. In February 2009, Obama named Biden to oversee the implementation of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.
Biden's three decades in the Senate have allowed him to develop close ties with many fellow Senators. He called Christopher J. Dodd, (D-Conn.) his "closest personal friend in public life" and said he has known Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband President Bill Clinton for more than 20 years. The three are quite close - Clinton once told Biden: "I think you and Bill were separated at birth."
He and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass) have also been called best friends.