Life The Biden-Harris brood: Meet the United States’ first and second families
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The Biden-Harris brood: Meet the United States’ first and second families

Meet the future First and Second families of the United States. Photo: Getty
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As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are declared victorious in the US election, many will be looking to the wings to see who they’ll be bringing to the White House in January.

Before battling it out against Donald Trump, Mr Biden dealt with his fair share of tragedy behind closed doors.

Mr Biden married his first wife, Neilia Hunter, in 1966 and soon welcomed their three children Joseph “Beau” Biden III, Robert “Hunter” Biden and Naomi Christina “Amy” Biden. 

Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Beau Biden, Neilia Biden
Tragedy touched the Biden family in the early 1970s. Photo: Getty

But the young family was marred by unthinkable misfortune when, on a Christmas shopping trip with her children in 1972, Neilia’s Chevrolet stationwagon collided with a tractor-trailer, killing her and her two-year-old daughter, and injuring their two sons. 

Less than a month later, Mr Biden was sworn in as senator in Delaware. 

Mr Biden met his second and current wife, Jill Jacobs, in 1975 on a blind date. The couple married two years later and welcomed their daughter, Ashley, in 1981. 

Jill Biden 

Long before she was preparing to take over as FLOTUS, Ms Biden already had a number of impressive achievements listed on her own resume.

A long-time English teacher and educator, Ms Biden has been heading the Northern Virginia Community College English department as a professor since 2009 and is considered the first Second Lady to hold a paying job while her husband was Vice President.  

Jill Biden
Jill Biden, 69, also has a doctoral degree in education. Photo: Getty

Ms Biden was not initially supportive of her husband’s bid for the 2004 presidential election, and at one point interrupted a strategy meeting in a swimsuit with the word ‘NO’ inscribed on her stomach to show her opposition.  

It was George W Bush’s re-election that encouraged her to reconsider and urge her husband to run again. 

“I literally wore black for a week. I just could not believe that [Bush] won, because I felt that things were already so bad. I was so against the Iraq War. And I said to Joe, ‘You’ve got to change this, you have to change this’,” Ms Biden told The Washington Post in 2008.

Beau Biden

Beau was the eldest of the Biden children, and worked as a politician, a lawyer and served as the Attorney-General of Delaware in 2006 and 2010.

Beau Biden Joe Biden
Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015. Photo: Getty

Beau began suffering a number of health concerns in 2010, including a mild stroke, later receiving a brain cancer diagnosis.

In May 2015, he lost his cancer battle at the age of 46, survived by his wife, Hallie, and their children, Natalie and Robert Biden II.

“After our son, Beau, died of cancer, I wondered if I would ever smile or feel joy again. It was summer, but there was no warmth left for me,” said Jill Biden of the stepson she raised from childhood to tragic manhood.

“Four days after Beau’s funeral, I watched Joe shave and put on his suit. I saw him steel himself in the mirror, take a breath, put his shoulders back, and walk out into a world empty of our son. He went back to work. That’s just who he is.”

Hunter Biden

Hunter is a lawyer and investment advisor, and Biden’s last remaining son.

Before separating from first wife Kathleen, the couple had three daughters together, Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy.

Hunter Biden Joe Biden
Hunter Biden, 50, and his father. Photo: Getty

In 2016, Hunter began a short romance with Hallie Biden, the widow of his older brother Beau.

“Hallie and I are incredibly lucky to have found the love and support we have for each other in such a difficult time, and that’s been obvious to the people who love us most,” Hunter said at the time.

Hunter’s struggle with cocaine addiction, and his lovechild with stripper Lunden Roberts have been used as trigger points by the Republican Party throughout the 2020 election campaign.

Ashley Biden

Biden’s only daughter, Ashely, works as a social worker, activist and fashion designer.

She is also a philanthropist and served as executive director of the Delaware Centre for Justice from 2014 to 2019.

Ashley Biden Joe Biden
Ashley Biden, 39, works as a social worker. Photo: Getty

Kamala’s clan

Harris is the first Indian-American and the second African-American woman to serve as a US Senator.

Also serving as attorney general in California between 2011-2017, Harris gained national attention for her memorable address at the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

She wed attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014, and is step-mother or “Momala” to his two children, Cole and Ella.

“Cole and Ella could not have been more welcoming,” Harris said.

“They are brilliant, talented, funny kids who have grown to be remarkable adults. I was already hooked on Doug, but I believe it was Cole and Ella who reeled me in.”

After graduating from Colorado College, Cole works at Plan B, and Ella is a student at Parsons School of Design.

Harris is also “dear friends” with Emhoff’s first wife, Kerstin.

“To know Cole and Ella is to know that their mother Kerstin is an incredible mother. Kerstin and I hit it off ourselves and are dear friends,” Harris wrote in an article for Elle. 

“She and I became a duo of cheerleaders in the bleachers at Ella’s swim meets and basketball games, often to Ella’s embarrassment.”

Harris continued her rise to prominence for her direct and persistent questioning of Trump administration officials at Senate hearings, including alleged sex offender and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh.

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