Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, passed away on Saturday due to brain cancer. He was 46-years-old. The loss was a devastating blow to the Biden family, and in many ways, the state of Delaware. Biden was a well-respected Attorney General, and there was the expectation he would follow in the political footsteps of his father, Joe. There was reportedly the expectation that he would run for governor.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) May 31, 2015
However, his health took a sudden and cruel turn for the worst. The Biden family privately dealt with the reality of the cancer diagnosis, with much of the public unaware of just how seriously ill Beau truly was. A statement released by the Biden family acknowledged Beau’s bravery, telling us he “battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.”
“Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.”
The bravery and integrity expressed by Beau Biden in the face of hardship are traits not unlike those in his father, Joe. Those who’ve followed the political career of Biden are more than aware that this is not the first time the vice president has had to continue forward in his political service to constituents in the face of heartbreaking tragedy.
In 1972, Joe Biden won his Democratic bid for U.S. Senate. In December of that year, he lost his first wife, Neilla Hunter, and newborn daughter, Naomi, in a tragic car crash. Beau and brother Hunter were also involved, but they survived the horrific accident. Joe Biden struggled with the loss and reality of life as a single father; he strongly considered abandoning his newly won position as senator to care for his sons.
— Dave Prohaska (@dprohaska) May 31, 2015
When he did eventually decide to be sworn in as a U.S. senator, it was done at the bedside of his two hospitalized sons. The powerful photos have begun to recirculate around the internet in the wake of the Biden family’s most recent loss.
Today, the Biden family has received an outpouring of support from Americans across the country and both sides of the aisle in Washington. Despite the deep-cutting tragedy, there is every reason to believe the Biden family will get through this as they have previously: Together, one day at a time.
[Image Credit: Pete Marovich/Getty Images]