As Senator Bernie Sanders pulled out of the race to be nominated as the Democratic Party candidate to challenge President Donald Trump in the November 2020 elections for the US presidency, former Vice President (who served under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017) Joe Biden is the only challenger left. Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008.
Before becoming the 47th Vice President of the US, Biden was a United States Senator (member of the upper house) for four 6-year terms from 1973 to 2009. He was the first Roman Catholic to serve as Vice President.
Biden got a BA from the University of Delaware before receiving a law degree from Syracuse University. He became a lawyer in 1969 and was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970. He was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware in 1972, when he became the sixth-youngest senator in American history. Biden was the fourth-most senior senator when he resigned to assume the vice presidency in 2009.
In December 1972, a few weeks after being elected for the first time to the Senate, Biden’s wife and one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in an automobile accident. His sons Beau and Hunter survived the accident. Beau had a broken leg and other wounds, and Hunter had a minor skull fracture and other head injuries. Biden considered resigning to take care of them, but Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield persuaded him not to do so. Beau died at age 46 after a two-year battle with brain cancer on May 30, 2015. In June 1977, Joe Biden had married Jill Jacobs, and the couple have a 39-year-old daughter.
In the Senate (upper house), Biden served as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 8 years from Jan 1987 to Jan 1995; and three times as the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, for 17 days in Jan 2011, then for 19 months from June 2001 to Jan 2003, and finally for 2 years from Jan 2007 to Jan 2009.
Biden had two brain surgeries in Feb 1998 and May 1998. In 2019, the neurosurgeon who operated on Biden in 1988 said he felt that Biden was fit to run for president, and joked, “he’s the only politician in Washington I’m sure has a brain, because I’ve seen it.”
Trump will be 74 years 142 days old on Election Day 2020 (Nov 3), while Biden will be almost 78. Trump was the oldest US President to assume office in Jan 2017, at 70 years, 220 days.