The Biden Bond Built on Shared Tragedies

Veep Joe Biden and son Beau shared a remarkable kinship.

June 01, 2015, 3:26 PM

— -- Vice President Joe Biden knows grief and has had more than his fair share. On Saturday night, his son Beau died at the age of 46 after battling brain cancer, leaving his wife and two children without a husband and a father.

The loss echoes the reality that Beau grew up without his mother. She died, along with his baby sister, in a car crash in 1972. The elder Biden was sworn in as a first-time senator in Delaware at 4-year-old Beau’s hospital bedside. Such a loss produced a remarkable bond between father and son and the unconditional support for a promising political career for Beau.

He was born Joseph Biden III Feb. 3, 1969. An Iraq War veteran who earned a Bronze Star and then served as Delaware attorney general, he introduced his father at two Democratic conventions. He was planning a run for governor next year before his brain cancer returned with devastating consequences.

His father is heartbroken but the bond is eternal. Crossing partisan lines, Beau Biden’s death has unleashed an outpouring of sorrow from everyone from President Obama to the family of Dick Cheney.

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