Joe Biden’s family tragedies are a key part of his biography, and among them is the tragic death of his son, Beau Biden.
Biden has four children; sons Beau and Hunter, and daughters Naomi and Ashley. However, both Beau and Naomi have preceded him in death at different stages of his life. The tragedies, including Beau’s death, are expected to come up at the Democratic National Convention, when Hunter and Ashley speak on August 20.
How did Beau Biden die? What was his cause of death? Biden’s son died of brain cancer. Specifically, according to PBS, Beau died from “glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer.” At the time, he was a promising politician, an Iraq war veteran, the former Attorney General of Delaware and a possible gubernatorial candidate. Had he lived, compounding the tragedy, there is no limit to the things the young Biden might have accomplished.
Here’s what you need to know about Beau Biden’s death:
Joe Biden’s Son, Beau, Died of the Same Type of Brain Cancer That Killed 2 Other Prominent Senators
By all accounts, Biden was utterly heartbroken by the death of his son Beau from brain cancer. When he died, Beau Biden was only 46 years old.
According to his obituary, Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life,” Joe Biden said.
Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John McCain and Beau Biden were afflicted with the same form of often deadly brain cancer.
The Washington Post noted that Beau Biden (as with the other two men) died from a tumor called a glioblastoma that “is an aggressive cancer that is the most common of all malignant brain tumors. About 12,400 new cases are expected in 2017.”
Beau Biden did live several years after his diagnosis. “Biden … the attorney general for the state of Delaware, was diagnosed in 2013 and had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy before going back to work. He died in May 2015 at the age of 46,” reported The Washington Post.
“A glioblastoma is the most common brain tumor that affects adults. It is also the most rapidly growing malignant tumor of the brain, with the shortest survival rate,” NBC reported. “Death may occur within months.”
In 2014, USA Today noted that Biden’s health was causing concerns due to his “visible weight loss, head scar, buzz cut and low public profile.” In 2010, Beau Biden suffered a stroke from which he recovered.
Joe Biden Has Raised Concerns About Fires Burning at Military Installations in Association With Beau’s Brain Cancer
At the time of his death, Beau Biden was planning to run for governor. According to The Associated Press, he was a lawyer, a member of the Delaware National Guard and former Delaware attorney general. His full name was Joseph Biden III.
Joe Biden has brought up his son’s military service in Iraq and questioned whether it could have played a role in his fatal illness. He stopped short of saying there was a firm or scientifically proven link. However, he told PBS, “a lot higher incidence of cancer [is] coming from Iraq now and Afghanistan than in other wars” and “a lot of work is being done” to research it. He expressed concern about toxins in smoke that emanates from U.S. military bases overseas.
Joe Biden pointed out that a book on the topic indicated his son served at locations with burn pits. He said the author “went back and looked at Beau’s tenure as a civilian with the U.S. attorney’s office [in Kosovo] and then his year in Iraq. And he was co-located in both times near these burn pits.”
According to CNN, Joe Biden called his son “quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.” Beau Biden served in the Iraq War. He was survived by his wife, Hallie, and the couple’s two children, Natalie and Hunter.
Beau’s wife Hallie later struck up a relationship with Beau’s brother Hunter, whose marriage ruptured into negative headlines.
Beau Biden Survived the Car Crash That Killed His Mother & Sister
As a young boy, Beau Biden survived a fatal car crash that took the lives of his mother, Neilia Hunter Biden, and sister, Naomi, only 1. Neilia was Joe Biden’s first wife.
At the time, in 1972, Biden had just been elected to the U.S. Senate in Delaware. Sons Hunter and Beau were in the car but survived the accident. Indeed, Joe Biden would be sworn in while standing at the bedside of his sons, Beau and Hunter, who were injured in the crash.
According to Politico, the Biden vehicle was struck by a truck carrying corncobs as they journeyed to pick out a Christmas tree.
Joe Biden spoke about the loss to a group of soldiers’ families, describing how the pain made him understand why some people contemplate suicide. His second wife, Jill, and the passage of time allowed him to endure.
In the 2012 talk, Biden said, according to ABC News: “For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could consciously decide to commit suicide. Not because they were deranged, not because they were nuts, because they’d been to the top of the mountain and they just knew in their heart they’d never get there again, that it was … never going to be that way ever again.”