Joseph R. Biden
President of the United StatesUnited States
Joseph R. BidenPresident of the United States
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (BY-dən; born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who is the 46th president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009. Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and later in New Castle County, Delaware, Biden studied at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree from Syracuse University in 1968. He was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970 and became the sixth-youngest senator ever when he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware in 1972, at age 29. Biden was a longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and eventually became its chairman. He also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995, dealing with drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties issues; led the effort to pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and the Violence Against Women Act; and oversaw six U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings, including the contentious hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008. Biden was reelected to the Senate six times, and was the fourth-most senior senator when he became Obama's vice president after they won the 2008 presidential election. During eight years as vice president, Biden leaned on his Senate experience and frequently represented the administration in negotiations with congressional Republicans, including on the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved a debt ceiling crisis, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which addressed the impending "fiscal cliff".