US election 2020: Who is Jill Biden?

Joe Biden bites his wife Jill Biden’s fingers at an election rally. Photo: AFP

The US presidential election has certainly cast a lot of spotlight on Donald Trump and Joe Biden but do we know enough about their wives as well?

Jill Biden made headlines earlier this year in March when she protected her husband against a protester at a rally in Los Angeles. She has appeared beside her husband at his presidential debates and election rallies, supporting his bid to take the White House from Donald Trump.

Who is Jill Biden?

Born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey, Jill Biden was raised in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. She is eight years younger than her husband, Joe Biden, at 69 years old.

Her father, Donald, was a teller while her mother was a homemaker. Jill first decided to study fashion merchandising but then decided to major in English from the University of Delaware. She attended college with her first husband Bill Stevenson, who she later divorced in 1975.

The two married on June 17, 1977, two years after they met for the first time at a blind date arranged by Joe Biden’s brother, who studied with Jill in the University of Delaware.

Jill and Joe Biden have a daughter together, Ashley Blazer Biden, who is a 39-year-old activist, social worker and fashion designer. Jill became stepmother to Biden’s kids, Hunter Biden and Joseph “Beau” Biden, who were children from Joe’s previous marriage to Neilia Hunter.

The couple had three children together but Neilia and her one-year-old daughter Naomi Christina Biden died in a traffic accident in 1972. The accident left a toll on the former vice president, who almost left his career as a politician to look after his sons, Beau and Hunter.

His colleagues forced Biden not to abort his political career and carry on. Beau Biden died at the age of 46 in 2015, two years after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Jill Biden has a background in education. She gained a Doctor of Education doctoral degree from the University of Delaware in 2007, to go with her bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and has been teaching since the 1970s.

After working at schools, community colleges and plans to return to her role as English professor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) she becomes First Lady. What sets her apart is the fact that she taught English at NOVA while her husband was the US vice president, making her the first second lady to work for a living.

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