Dr. Jill Biden is officially First Lady of the United States! The 69-year-old teacher stunned as she walked by her husband, President Joe Biden‘s side, during his inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The 46th President of the United States shared a sweet moment of the pair from the big day to his Instagram. “I love you, Jilly, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have you with me on the journey ahead,” he wrote. Here’s five things you should know about Jill Biden, her life, and her work:
1. She was set up with Joe by his brother. Joe said at the DNC that his brother told him about a woman he’d “like a lot.” He called up Jill, who actually had another date scheduled that night, and asked her to cancel — and she did. Just a few years earlier, Joe had lost his wife and baby daughter in a car crash, leaving him the sole parent of sons Beau and Hunter Biden.
“You know, motherhood came to me in a way I never expected. I fell in love with a man and two little boys standing in the wreckage of unthinkable loss. Mourning a wife and mother — a daughter and sister,” Jill said in her DNC speech. “I never imagined, at the age of 26, I would be asking myself: how do you make a broken family whole? Still, Joe always told the boys, ‘Mommy sent Jill to us,’ — and how could I argue with her?” Later, Joe and Jill welcomed a daughter together, Ashley Biden, and have been happily married for 43 years. He credits her with “saving” their family.
“How do you make a broken family whole?" asks Jill Biden, speaking at the #DemConvention. "The same way you make a nation whole — with love and understanding and with small acts of kindness, with bravery, with unwavering faith.” https://t.co/9tQ55mPVTj pic.twitter.com/839ujfnPzE
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 19, 2020
2. She has a doctorate degree in education. Jill went back to college and received her doctorate from the University of Delaware in 2007. Specifically, she holds a Doctor in Education in educational leadership.
3. She focused on uplifting military families as Second Lady. Jill’s father fought in World War II, and her stepson, Beau, fought in the Iraq War, so she knew how difficult it was to have a loved one deployed overseas. As Second Lady, she focused on supporting military families in their times of need. She even wrote a children’s book in 2012 called Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops, which tells the story of Beau’s deployment through his daughter Natalie Biden‘s eyes.
4. She’s a strong supporter of community colleges. In fact, the entire time she was Second Lady, Jill was teaching English at Northern Virginia Community College. She’s called community colleges “one of America’s best kept secrets,” and used her platform as Second Lady to promote them. In 2012, she traveled across the US as part of the Community College To Career tour “to highlight successful industry partnerships between community colleges and employers.”
5. She’s a marathon runner. Her daughter, Ashley, joked at the DNC that Jill started running as a way to escape their arguments during her teenage years. She’s still running races to this day, and uses running as an outlet for stress.