Who is Jill Biden? Joe Biden’s wife and new US First Lady by April Roach

Jill Biden is soon to be known as the new First Lady of the US as her husband Joe Biden has secured victory over Donald Trump in the tightest US election race in 20 years.

The 69-year-old has been a strong force behind her husband of more than 40 years.

Days before the polls opened, she appeared with Mr Biden for the star-studded ‘I Will Vote Concert’ which was headlined by Foo Fighters, the Black Eyed Peas, Jon Bon Jovi and Cher.

It garnered around 12,000 views and was live-streamed on YouTube.

Here’s all you need to know about the woman who will soon join Mr Biden in the White House.

Who is Jill Biden?

Born Jill Jacobs in June 1951 in the US state of New Jersey, Mrs Biden was the oldest of five sisters and grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Willow Grove.

Before marrying Mr Biden, she was married to former college football player Bill Stevenson.

She eventually wedded the Democratic presidential nominee in 1977, more than four years after his first wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident.

Mrs Biden has previously said that Mr Biden proposed to her five times before she accepted.

She helped Mr Biden raise his surviving sons, Beau – who later died of brain cancer in May 2015, at the age of 46 – and Hunter, before giving birth to a daughter, Ashley, in 1981.

‘Lifelong educator’

Mrs Biden, who was steadily built a career as a teacher, describes herself as a “lifelong educator” on her Twitter page.

“Teaching is not what I do. It’s who I am,” she said on Twitter ahead of her address at the Democratic convention.

Mrs Biden earned two masters’ degrees and then a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007.

Along the way, former co-workers say, Mrs Biden became one of her husband’s most valuable political advisers, someone whose opinion was paramount in most of his biggest decisions, both political and personal.

She was sceptical of his 1988 presidential campaign, but pushed him to run again in 2008, according to her memoir.

Mrs Biden went on to hold the title of second lady while her husband served as vice-president from 2009 to 2017.

She was the first vice-president’s wife to continue with her paid job after Mr Biden was elected alongside Barack Obama.

“Back in 2008, after we’d won the election, no one really expected me to keep teaching,” said Mrs Biden in an interview about her work as a second lady.

“But I couldn’t just walk away … So I did both. For eight years, that was my life’s dichotomy. State receptions and midterms.

“Dinner with the most powerful man on Earth – and study sessions with single mums.”

Support for the military

Mrs Biden has also shown that providing support for military families is one of her key concerns.

She launched the Joining Forces initiative with Michelle Obama, which focuses on helping military veterans and their families with education programmes and employment resources.

In 2012, Mrs Biden published a children’s book called Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops based on her granddaughter’s experience of being in a military family.

What has Joe Biden said about his wife?

When Mr Biden was formally announced as the Democratic presidential nominee alongside his wife and grandchildren in a Delaware school library in August, Mrs Biden spoke to reporters about her husband in deeply personal terms.

She described Mr Biden as a man of deep empathy, faith and resilience to American voters.

“There are times when I couldn’t imagine how he did it – how he put one foot in front of the other and kept going,” she said.

“But I’ve always understood why he did it. He does it for you.”

Speaking on NBC’s Today show, Mrs Biden said her husband was “on the phone every single minute of the day” talking to governors.

Mr Biden has previously lauded his wife’s own qualities as a potential First Lady.

“For all of you out there across the country, just think of your favourite educator who gave you the confidence to believe in yourself. That’s the kind of first lady… Jill Biden will be,” he said.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: