Explained: With US election around the corner, will Jill Biden be the next suitable First Lady?
Washington, Oct 07: Before Dr Jill Biden was caught in the national spotlight when her husband became Vice-President of the United States in 2008, she was known to have maintained a low profile in her home state of Delaware.
It was only after she had stepped into the upper echelons of the White House that the world was forced to sit up and take notice of the 69-year-old community college professor who has been Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's partner and most trusted political adviser for nearly five decades.
On the second night of this years' virtual Democratic National Convention (DNC) in August, Joe Biden joined his wife as she stood in the middle of an empty public school classroom in Wilmington, Delaware where she had once taught dozens of students English nearly 30 years ago.
"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 told the tens of thousands of American voters who had tuned in to watch the event, beamed live on screens across the country.
With the US presidential election in the corner and almost every major poll predicting a victory for Biden, his statement may soon be put to the test as Jill could be looking at another stint in Capitol Hill, except this time as the first lady of the United States.
Who is Jill Biden?
Jill Biden was born in New Jersey and spent most of her childhood in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania with her four younger sisters and her parents. Her father Donald worked as a teller at a bank, while her mother Bonny was a homemaker.
After graduating from high school, Jill briefly pursued a degree in fashion merchandising, but ultimately decided to major in English at the University of Delaware. She also attended college with her first husband Bill Stevenson, who she later divorced in 1975.
In 1972, Joe Biden lost his first wife Neilia and their one-year-old daughter Naomi in a tragic car accident. Joe nearly gave up his political career as a Delaware senator to care for his sons Beau and Hunter, who escaped the crash with severe injuries; but was convinced otherwise by a few of his colleagues.
Three years later, Joe met Jill on a blind date. "She (Jill) gave me back my life," Joe wrote in his memoir 'Promises to Keep' in 2007. "She made me start to think my family might be whole again." The couple got married in 1977 and welcomed their first child together in 1980.
But, the tragedy in Biden's life did not end. In 2015, Joe's eldest son Beau succumbed to brain cancer, leaving behind his wife, Hallie Biden, and their two young children.
But despite all the ups and downs, Jill has resolutely stood by her husband's side through all three presidential bids (1988, 2008 and 2020), both terms as US Vice-President, as well as a fair share of crippling political scandals.