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Joe & Jill Biden’s Relationship Timeline Is Beyond Romantic
BY CORINNE SULLIVAN JAN. 20, 2021
If you’re looking for a new couple to stan, then I suggest you turn your attention to the 46th President of the United States and his wife of over four decades. Joe and Jill Biden’s relationship timeline is truly a beautiful thing, especially when you consider everything the Bidens have faced. Together they’ve contended with three presidential campaigns and the death of a son, not to mention the challenges they navigated before they even met. However, the power couple has managed to overcome every roadblock (and look totally in love while doing it).
Just over two years before Jill and Joe met, the new POTUS lost his first wife, Neilia Hunter, in a car accident, along with their one-year-old daughter, Naomi. At the time of the accident, Jill was still married to her fellow University of Delaware classmate Bill Stevenson, though the two ended up separating in 1974 and divorcing the following year. According to his 2007 memoir, Promises to Keep, Joe credits Jill for turning his life around following Neilia and Naomi’s deaths. “She gave me back my life,” he wrote of Jill. “She made me start to think my family might be whole again.” Here’s their sweet love story from the very beginning.
They Met In March 1975
According to an August 2008 profile written by the New York Times, then-senator Joe saw his future wife for the first time in an advertisement for a Wilmington-area park in March 1975. That same night, Joe’s brother, Frank, gave him the number of a woman he thought Joe would like. That woman was Jill and — as it turns out — she was also the same woman from the advertisement Joe had seen earlier.
Joe asked Jill out on a date, and they went to see A Man and a Woman at a Philadelphia movie theater. As Jill told Vogue during a November 2016 interview, she and Joe “really hit it off” during that first date — even though they ended the night with a polite handshake. According to Jill (who was senior in college at the time), she immediately called her mother after the date to say, “Mom, I finally met a gentleman.” And apparently, the feeling was mutual, because Joe asked Jill to go on another date the very next night.
They Got Married In June 1977
Things progressed quickly after that, and the couple tied the knot just about two years after meeting… but not before Joe proposed a whopping five times, per Vogue. In her 2019 book, Where the Light Enters, Jill explained that she finally said yes after Joe returned from a 10-day trip to South Africa in the spring of 1977. “I knew that he and the boys had my heart, and we were too intertwined now to protect ourselves from each other,” she wrote. “Marriage license or not, we were already a family.”
Not long after, the Bidens tied the knot at the United Nations Chapel in New York City on June 19, 1977. In Promises to Keep, Biden explained only family members and close friends were in attendance, which totaled just under 40 people. Joe’s sons, Beau and Hunter, stood next to him at the altar. “The way they thought of it, the four of us were getting married,” he wrote.
They Welcomed A Daughter In June 1981
Three years after saying, “I do,” the Bidens became a family of five when they welcomed their daughter, Ashley Blazer Biden, on June 8, 1981. In Promises to Keep, Joe said Beau and Hunter were the ones to pick their sister’s name.
Joe Ran For President In 1987
After several years of serving in the Senate, Joe announced his candidacy for president in June 1987, with Jill by his side. Unfortunately, his candidacy was short-lived, and a little more than three months later, he announced the end of his campaign (with Jill by his side yet again, of course).
They Became Grandparents In December 1993
In December 1993, Joe and Jill became grandparents for the first time after Hunter welcomed his first daughter, Naomi, who Hunter named after his late sister. The couple has since welcomed six more grandchildren: Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, Robert, and two new additions whose names haven’t yet been revealed.
Jill Said No To Another Campaign In 2003
After his ill-fated first presidential run, Joe expressed a desire to run again in the 2004 presidential election — but apparently, Jill put her foot down. In fact, she was so against his running that she interrupted a meeting discussing Joe’s potential candidacy with a very strong message. As she explained in Where the Light Enters, “I was sitting at the pool in my swimsuit. My temper got the best of me. I decided I needed to contribute to this conversation. As I walked through the kitchen, a Sharpie caught my eye. I drew NO on my stomach in big letters, and marched through the room in my bikini.
Joe Ran For President Again In 2007
Four years later, Joe decided to run for presidency again, and this time, he had Jill’s support. In January 2007, he entered the 2008 presidential race. Not long after, Jill received a doctorate degree in educational leadership, and her husband was there to cheer her on. “I got to hand her the doctorate on the stage at the University of Delaware,” Joe proudly told Stephen Colbert during a December 2020 appearance on The Late Show. “She had two master’s degrees. She kept going to school all the time while teaching at night.”
Joe Became Vice President In January 2009
Though Joe didn’t end up winning the 2008 presidential election, he did win the next best thing. In January 2009, Joe became the 47th Vice President of the United States, and Jill became the only known second lady to have a full-time, paying job. According to the Los Angeles Times, Jill continued to teach full-time throughout Joe’s eight-year term as VP.
Their Son Passed Away In May 2015
On May 30, 2015, tragedy struck when Beau passed away from brain cancer. Jill spoke about the experience during her 2020 Democratic National Convention speech. “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,” she said, per Harper’s Bazaar. “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.”
They Became President & First Lady In January 2021
In 2019, Joe launched his third presidential election, and apparently, the third time is the charm. Joe was elected president, and after taking the Oath of Office on Jan. 20, 2021, Joe and Jill officially became the 46th President and first lady of the United States.
I can’t wait to watch these two thrive in the White House.