Joe Biden and Jill Biden have a long-lasting marriage and love story. She helped stabilize his life after great tragedy when his first wife died in a car crash that also killed the couple’s infant daughter.
Joe and Jill married on June 17, 1977 at the United Nations chapel in New York City. Jill, an educator, became stepmom to Biden’s two sons with his first wife, Neilia, and the couple would go on to have a daughter together named Ashley.
“She gave me back my life,” Joe Biden said in his 2007 book Promises to Keep. “She made me start to think my family might be whole again.”
These are the candidates who will appear on stage at the September 12, 2019 Democratic presidential debate: Former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Obama Housing Secretary Julián Castro; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
What time is the 2020 Democratic presidential debate on? It will air from 8-11 p.m. ET on ABC and Univision. It’s the third presidential debate, and all eyes will be on Joe Biden as challengers try to knock him off his perceived frontrunner’s perch. According to NPR, to get into this debate, candidates needed to demonstrate that they had “2% in at least four Democratic polls, either nationally or in early states, as well as 130,000 donors from at least 20 states and at least 400 in each state.”
The debate is being held at Texas Southern University.
Here’s what you need to know about how Jill and Joe Biden met:
Joe Saw Jill Biden in an Advertisement
According to Vogue Magazine, Jill Biden was doing some modeling here or there in Wilmington. “Joe Biden saw her picture in an advertisement posted on a bus shelter and was smitten,” the magazine reports.
He managed to get Jill’s unlisted number through his brother, Frankie. “I was a senior, and I had been dating guys in jeans and clogs and T-shirts,” Jill told Vogue. “And he came to the door and he had on a sport coat and loafers, and I thought, God, this is never going to work, not in a million years. He was nine years older than I am!”
They went to see a movie called A Man and a Woman in Philadelphia, the magazine reports, and they “hit it off.” He shook her hand at the end of the night, which led her to dub him a “gentleman,” and that was the start of it all.
Jill wrote on Instagram, “Growing up, I wanted two things: a marriage like my parents’—strong, loving, and full of laughter—and a career. And I found both and more with Joe, as a Biden.”
Jill Biden Was Initially Hesitant to Marry Joe Biden
Jill Biden wrote an article for Time Magazine in which she described the moment Joe Biden proposed to her.
“The first time Joe proposed, he simply said, ‘I want us to get married.'” she wrote. “It wasn’t a big deal — just an ordinary conversation on an ordinary day. I already knew how he felt, so it didn’t come as a surprise. I also knew I couldn’t say yes.”
However, Biden’s sons from his first marriage wanted Joe to marry Jill too. “But unbeknownst to me, Joe wasn’t just asking on his own accord. Beau and Hunter had recently cornered him in the bathroom one morning while he was shaving. ‘Beau thinks we should get married,'” she wrote. “‘We think we should marry Jill.'”
Jill wrote recently on Instagram, “I’ve had many titles over the years, but my forever favorite is “Mom.” Beau and Hunt—the boys who made me their mother. And Ashley—the daughter who completed our family.”
However, it didn’t always seem so certain.
Joe Biden had to ask Jill five times to marry him; her initial hesitance was something she told Vogue was because of her age (25) and because she wanted to be certain for his children. Jill had already been married once before to a man named Bill Stevenson, and that marriage had ended in divorce.
“She was just starting her own career,” Biden wrote in his book. “I think it was easier for her in the beginning of our courtship when I wasn’t thinking about marriage. We both just liked having fun with somebody again, and she wanted to keep it that way.”
Eventually, he told her, “Look, this is the last time I’m asking you. I don’t care when we get married. But I want a commitment,” Vogue reported. Realizing he was serious this time, she said yes.
When they did marry, Joe’s sons Hunter and Beau stood at the altar with their dad. “The way they thought of it, the four of us were getting married,” Joe recalled in his book.