Biden, Joseph Robinette, Jr.

Biden, Joseph Robinette, Jr. bīd´ən [key], 1942–, Vice President of the United States (2009–17), b. Scranton, Pa. A lawyer and Democrat, he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware, where his family had moved when he was young, in 1972, and was reelected six times, retiring in 2009. He served as chairman of the Senate judiciary (1987–95) and foreign relations (2001–3, 2007–8) committees, and was a prominent Democratic spokesman on foreign policy issues while in the Senate. Twice an unsuccessful candidate for the presidential nomination, he was chosen by the 2008 Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, to be his running mate. In the Nov., 2008, election the Democratic ticket defeated Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin; they were reelected in Nov., 2012, defeating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. In 2019 he declared his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination; he became the presumptive nominee in Apr., 2020, after Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race.

See his memoir of the death of his son Beau (2017); autobiography (2007).

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