How Long Have Joe Biden & Jill Biden Been Married?

Terrence Smith

When Joe Biden takes the Oath of Office and is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, January 20, standing alongside the former vice president will be Dr. Jill Biden. The couple has been married since June 17, 1977, when they wed during his first term as a Delaware senator. During their more than 43 years of marital bliss, Joe and Jill have stood by each other throughout tragic lows -- including the death of his oldest son -- and triumphant highs, such as two terms served as vice president and second lady, and the victorious 2020 campaign.

Both of the Bidens had been married before they met each other. Jill was with Bill Stevenson, a former college football player who operated a bar, from 1970 until their separation in 1974. Joe married Neilia Hunter in 1966, and the couple had three children together: Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III, Robert Hunter Biden, and Naomi Christina "Amy" Biden. They were a loving family, with Neilia considered the "brains" of her husband's unexpected 1972 victory in the race for the Delaware senatorial seat. Tragically, she and the children were involved in a serious car accident on December 18, 1972, killing her and Amy, while injuring Beau and Hunter. The tragedy has heavily weighed on the president-elect's life, with him previously referring to it as a "black hole you feel in your chest."

When they began moving on from their first marriages, Joe and Jill met when they were set up on a blind date by his brother Frank in March 1975. As reported by Oprah Magazine, the couple saw the film A Man and a Woman together. Despite the nine-year age gap, they were just what the other needed, with Biden describing their courtship as an opportunity for them to have fun with someone again.

"She gave me back my life. She made me start to think my family might be whole again," Biden wrote of his wife in his 2007 memoir Promises to Keep.

While Joe didn't introduce his sons to Jill right away, they quickly became close once he did, and they began spending major holidays together. In fact, it was Beau and Hunter who encouraged their father to propose. Joe then asked the future first lady for her hand in marriage five times before she accepted, as she had concerns herself about the effect it could have on the boys. The wedding was an intimate affair, setting the stage for a quiet but loving marriage. They welcomed a daughter, Ashley, in 1981.

Jill was a dedicated educator, spending 13 years as a high school teacher on the subjects of English and reading following her graduation. She went on to work as an English and writing instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College from 1993 until 2008, when her husband became the vice president. After moving to Washington D.C. in 2009, she was hired at Northern Virginia Community College as an English professor. She has held the role since, only taking a break to join her husband on the campaign trail. She plans to continue teaching after assuming the role of first lady.

She was a regular fixture on the 2020 campaign trail -- both virtually and in-person -- as her husband successfully defeated the Republican incumbent Donald Trump. She even found herself involved in a viral moment during a pre-pandemic rally held by Joe on March 4, which saw her fend off a protestor who took to the stage to confront the then-hopeful for the Democratic nomination.

Following Joe's presidential victory, she tweeted a celebratory image of the couple together.

"He will be a President for all of our families," the caption read.

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