Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Throughout his childhood, he thrived academically and on the football field. He was a star halfback and wide receiver as well as class president his junior and senior years. He was also active in the anti-segregation movement and participated in a sit-in at a theatre in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1965 with a double major in political science and history while playing football. He then graduated with his law degree from Syracuse University in 1968 and passed the Delaware Bar in 1969.
Biden began his career as a public defender and opened his own law firm in 1969. He also ran for New Castle City Council, where he declared his Democratic status. He served his three-year term while privately practicing law.
In 1972, Biden was elected as the United States Senator for Delaware, where he served from 1973 through 2009. At only 30 years old, he became the sixth-youngest senator. He was chiefly focused on arms control and the movement for equality as senator. During his tenure, he served as Chairman of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
In 1988, Biden campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination. Though he was a frontrunner early on, he eventually faded. He withdrew from the race before the preliminary election. Biden continued to hold his seat on the Senate until he ran for the Democratic nomination again in 2008, but again, withdrew. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, however, sought out Biden as a strong running mate, and he was officially nominated on August 27, 2008. Vice President Biden was sworn into office on January 20, 2009, becoming the first Delawarean to be elected as vice president.
Interesting fact: Young Biden had a speech impediment in his early years. He was able to overcome it in his young twenties by reciting poetry in front of a mirror for many hours.