Learn more about President Joe Biden’s four children with this comprehensive timeline highlighting moments from his family life.
President Joe Biden has held many titles throughout his decades-long career in public service and politics. But there’s one name he undoubtedly prizes above all others: dad. The 46th President of the United States, 78, has had four children, tragically losing two of them over the course of his life. President Biden has always been adamant about putting his family first, and sharing so many of his personal triumphs and tragedies with the public. To learn more about each of President Biden’s children, take a look at the comprehensive timeline below.
Joe Biden’s 4 Children
Naomi Biden was President Biden’s first-born daughter and third child with his first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden. She was born in November 1971. In December 1972, when Neilia, Naomi and the couple’s two sons were out Christmas shopping, a car accident claimed the lives of Neilia and Naomi, and the couple’s two young boys suffered injuries from the car crash that landed them in the hospital.
“Six weeks after my election [to U.S. Senate], my whole world was altered forever. While I was in Washington hiring staff, I got a phone call. My wife and three children were Christmas shopping, a tractor trailer broadsided them and killed my wife and killed my daughter. And they weren’t sure that my sons would live,” President Biden recalled in a commencement speech at Yale University. Naomi was just 13 months old, while Neilia was roughly 30 years old at the time of their tragic deaths.
Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III
President Biden’s eldest child was son Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III. Beau was born on February 3, 1969 and was the first child of President Biden and his first wife, Neilia. Beau really showed signs of wanting to follow in his fathers footsteps from a young age. He attended President Biden’s alma mater, Archmere Academy, and later attended the University of Pennsylvania. Beau also earned his law degree from Syracuse University, just as his father had done decades ago.
By 2003, Beau made the decision to enlist in the military. He was a part of the Delaware Army National Guard and by 2008, his unit was deployed to Iraq, around the same time as his father’s Vice Presidential Debate during the 2008 election cycle. Between January 2007 to January 2015, Beau served as the 44th Attorney General of Delaware. During his time in office, his paths often crossed with current Vice President Kamala Harris, who was then the 32nd Attorney General of California.
The Biden family was once again struck by tragedy, when in 2010 Beau suffered a small stroke, and in 2013 underwent extensive surgery to have a lesion removed from his brain. Beau underwent rounds of chemotherapy and surgery while battling brain cancer. But in January 2015, President Biden’s eldest son passed away at the age of 46.
In the years following his death, President Biden has kept Beau’s memory alive, often referencing him in campaign speeches and more. “Beau had a way of instilling courage and calming me,” he wrote in his 2017 book Promise Me, Dad. “Beau would always grab my arm just before I walked onstage and pull me back toward him until I was looking into his eyes. ‘Dad. Look at me. Look at me, Dad. Remember, Dad. Home base, Dad. Home base.'” Beau was married to his wife Hallie Olivere from 2002 until his death in 2015. The couple had two children together — daughter Natalie Naomi Biden, born in 2004, and son Robert Hunter Biden II, born in 2006.
Robert Hunter Biden
President Biden’s second son, Robert Hunter Biden, was born on February 4, 1970 to the 46th President of the United States and his first wife, Neilia. Hunter grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, with his family, and like his father and older brother, Hunter also attended Archmere Academy for his high school education. He went on to study History at Georgetown University, graduating in 1992. He also attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1996.
Hunter has had a varied career as an investor, banker, attorney for a lobbyist firm, and public servant in administration. During the Bush administration, Hunter served on the board of directors of Amtrak. He also served in the United States Navy between 2013 and 2014. Along with his work in the private sector and years of public service, there’s one battle that Hunter has become more transparent about as time has gone on.
Hunter struggled with intense drug addiction for a number of years. He’s opened up about that dark chapter in his life, as well as how his dad has been there for him through so much pain. “I tried to get into — I tried to go to my car. And my girls literally blocked the door to my car. Said, ‘Dad, Dad, please. You can’t. No, no,’” Hunter recalled in an interview with CBS This Morning, referencing an emotional intervention his family held. “And [my father] grabbed me in a hug,” Hunter said. “He grabbed me, gave a bear hug, and he said — and just cried and said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. Please—’”
Hunter’s continued to be open about his struggle with addiction, but has reached sobriety within the last few years. Hunter was married to Kathleen Buhle until their divorce in 2017 was finalized. The two separated in 2015. Following the death of his brother, Beau, Hunter started dating his brother’s widow, Hallie, in 2016. The relationship ended by 2019. Hunter has five children — daughter Naomi Biden, born December 1993, daughter Finnegan Biden, born 2000, another daughter, Maisy Biden, born 2001, a child with Lunden Alexis Roberts, born August 2018, and a son named Beau born in March 2020, shared with his second wife, Melissa Cohen.
President Biden’s fourth child is Ashely Biden. Following the death of his wife and daughter, the then U.S. Senator was a working single father, traveling back and forth from Washington D.C. to be with his boys as often as possible. In 1975, President Biden met Dr. Jill Biden on a blind date. The two were smitten with one another, and the couple married in June 1977. Four years after the couple exchanged their wedding vows, Dr. Biden and her husband welcomed their only child, a daughter named Ashley, born on June 8, 1981.
Ashley attended Tulane University after receiving her high school education from Archmere Academy, like her father and brothers. She graduated from Tulane University with a degree in cultural anthropology. Following her undergraduate career, Ashley started working as a social worker. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ashley has a number of interests, but her career focus is social work and activism. However, she’s also entered the world of fashion. In 2017, she launched the Livelihood Collection, an ethical clothing brand, during New York Fashion week that year. Her father, then former Vice President Biden, was there to support her at the exciting event.
The social worker and fashion brand founder has a very close relationship with both of her parents. “Dad is so empathetic and has the ability to recognize pain, to feel others’ pain, and to comfort,” Ashely said of her father during a January interview with Today. “It’s also made family his number one. We have a rule still today that no matter where Dad is, no matter what meeting he’s in, if one of the kids call, you have to get him out.”
When it comes to watching her parents’ relationship over their decades-long marriage, Ashely couldn’t help but gush about their devotion and support of one another, and how they keep one another humble. “Mom really keeps Dad grounded,” Ashley said. “She will always remind him to take out the trash. Even this morning, you know, make sure to wash your bowl. Dad loves his Raisin Bran in the morning, and she’s like, ‘Joe, wash that bowl, don’t put it in the sink.”’
As for her plans during her father’s time in the highest office in the land, Ashley will continue to dedicate herself to service. “I will, however, hopefully use this platform to advocate for social justice, for mental health, to be involved in community development and revitalization,” she said. “I do hope to bring awareness and education to some topics, subjects that are really important.” It’s so clear that through every trial and tribulation, victory and loss, President Biden’s relationships with his children and family have been unique, layered, and always the center of his extraordinary life.