Jill Biden

American educator and First Lady of the United States

Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden (born June 3, 1951)[1][2] is an American educator serving as the first lady of the United States since 2021 as the wife of President Joe Biden.[3][4] Before becoming first lady, she was the second lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017 when her husband was vice president.[5][6]

Jill Biden
Official portrait, January 2021
First Lady of the United States
Assumed role
January 20, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byMelania Trump
Second Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
Vice PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byLynne Cheney
Succeeded byKaren Pence
Personal details
Born
Jill Tracy Jacobs

(1951-06-03) June 3, 1951 (age 73)
Hammonton, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
(m. 1977)
Children
RelativesBiden family
ResidenceWhite House
EducationUniversity of Delaware
West Chester University
Villanova University
Signature
Websitewhitehouse.gov
Academic background
ThesisStudent Retention at the Community College: Meeting Students' Needs (2006)
Doctoral advisorBarbara Curry
Academic work
InstitutionsDelaware Technical Community College
Northern Virginia Community College

Biden has a bachelor's degree in English and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Delaware, as well as master's degrees in education and English from West Chester University and Villanova University. She taught English and reading in high schools for thirteen years and instructed teens with emotional disabilities.[5]

Biden is the founder of the Biden Breast Health Initiative, a non-profit organization. She is also the co-founder of the Book Buddies program and the Biden Foundation and active in Delaware Boots on the Ground. With Michelle Obama, she is the co-founder of Joining Forces.[5] Biden has written a memoir and two books for children and has been socially active in the Beau Biden Foundation.

Biography

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Early life and education

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Jill Tracy Jacobs was born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey, to Bonny Jean Godfrey Jacobs and Donald Carl Jacobs. The oldest of five daughters, Jacobs grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.[7]

Jacobs graduated from Upper Moreland High School in 1969, then graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in English in 1975.[7]

Career

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In 1976, Jacobs began teaching English at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, Delaware. She then became a reading specialist at Claymont High School. At that time, she was also pursuing a Master of Education with a specialty in reading from West Chester University. Jacobs completed her first master's degree in 1981.[7]

Biden taught English at Rockford Center psychiatric hospital while also earning a Master of Arts in English from Villanova University. In 1993, she started teaching at Delaware Technical Community College. During that same year, Biden's began advocating for cancer and education.[7]

After four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, she launched the Biden Breast Health Initiative to educate high school girls about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and prevention efforts.

In 2007, she received a Doctor of Education from the University of Delaware. In 2009, when her husband became vice president, the Biden family moved to Washington D.C., where Biden began teaching at Northern Virginia Community College.

Marriage and family

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Jacobs with then Senator Joe Biden in the early 1970s.

In 1975, she met then Delaware Senator Joe Biden. They married at the United Nations in New York City on June 17, 1977, and she became the stepmother of his two sons, Beau and Hunter. Their daughter, Ashley Biden was born in June 1981.[7]

2008 United States presidential election

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Biden alongside her husband with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

In August 2008, Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced that Biden would be his running mate for vice president.[8]

Biden was officially nominated for vice president in August 2008 at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. In November 2008, her husband was elected the 47th vice president of the United States.

Second Lady, 2009–2017

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Biden alongside her husband as he takes the vice presidential oath of office.

Biden became the second lady of the United States when her husband inaugurated as the 47th vice president on January 20, 2009.[3][9] As second lady, Biden focused on advocating for community colleges, military families, and the education of women and girls around the world.

Biden has been a longtime advocate for military families. In April 2011, she launched Joining Forces with First Lady Michelle Obama, a White House initiative to support service members, veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.[7] During her term as second lady, she traveled to nearly forty countries, visiting military bases, hospitals, and refugee camps, and advocating for education for women and girls.

Life after vice presidency, 2017–2020

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Biden in 2018.

After her husband's term ended as vice president, they both founded and launched the Biden Foundation in February 2017. The foundation focused on preventing violence against women, his moonshot initiative, and her interests in community colleges and military families.[10][11]

Biden continued to teach full-time at Northern Virginia Community College after her husband left office,[12] with a salary of up to $100,000.[13]

2020 United States presidential election

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Biden delivering a speech at a campaign rally for her husband in Philadelphia.

On April 25, 2019, her husband announced his candidacy for president for the 2020 presidential election.[14][15] During the 2020 election, Biden was heavily involved in her husband's presidential campaign throughout 2019 and 2020. She appeared in multiple states campaigning with her husband and giving speeches to their supporters.

Biden delivered a speech on the second night of the convention from the classroom at Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware, where she had taught English from 1991 through 1993.

Biden's speech was focused on both family and education. She talked about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and how it had impacted education, families and the economy. Biden also spoke about the personal death that her husband had experienced such as the deaths of his first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden, and first born and infant daughter Naomi Christina Biden, who both died in a car crash in 1972, and the death of his son Beau Biden, who died from brain cancer in May 2015.

On November 7, 2020, her husband was the elected the 46th president of the United States.[16][17]

First Lady, 2021–present

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Official portrait of Biden as First Lady of the United States.

Biden became the first lady of the United States when her husband inaugurated as the 46th president on January 20, 2021.[3][18] At the age of 69, Biden is the oldest woman to serve the role, and is also the first Italian American first lady.[19] Biden is the first woman since Barbara Bush to hold both titles as second and first lady, and is also the first woman since Pat Nixon to serve both titles non-consecutively.

As first lady, Biden has advocated for two White House initiatives, Joining Forces and the Cancer Moonshot and also urging adults and children to protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

 
Joe Biden and Jill Biden call children while watching the NORAD Santa Tracker at Camp David, December 24, 2023

During her first two years of her husband's presidency, Biden traveled to over 40 states and territories, over 100 cities, and ten other countries. Biden also continued teaching English and writing at Northern Virginia Community College, where she has been a professor since 2009. She is the first presidential wife to maintain an independent career and paying job outside of the White House during her husband's presidency.

During visits to Joint Base Lewis–McChord and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in 2021, Biden visited 16 military installations and worked with Joining Forces to hold over 20 events for military families focusing on employment, entrepreneurship and other issues.[20]

In the same year, the Office of the First Lady joined the U.S. National Security Council in launching the Joining Forces Interagency Policy Committee to secure proposals across the federal government to support military families.[21][22] Biden was put in charge of the American Families Plan, a public legislation that would provide free tuition to students attending community colleges.[23]

Approval ratings, fashion and style

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In October 2021, Biden was placed as the seventh most popular first lady out of twelve recent first ladies from an online survey poll by Zogby Analytics.[24]

In September 2020, Biden wore Stuart Weitzman's black boots with the word "vote" written on them.[25] The boots she wore was sold out immediately and page views for the boots spiked five-fold the next day.[25] At her husband's victory speech in Wilmington, Biden wore an Oscar de la Renta dark-blue floral dress designed by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim.[26] The dress she wore sold out quickly.[26]

References

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  1. "Jill Biden | Biography, Career, Family, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  2. "Jill Biden - Age, Family & Facts". Biography. 2021-08-24. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Dr. Jill Biden: First Lady". The White House. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  4. "Jill Biden". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Dr. Jill Biden". whitehouse.gov. 2014-12-24. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  6. "Dr. Jill Biden". Concordia. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "Dr. Jill Biden: First Lady". The White House. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  8. Nagourney, Adam; Zeleny, Jeff (2008-08-23). "Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  9. Press, The Associated (2009-01-20). "In culminating moment, Biden is vice president". oregonlive. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  10. Merica, Dan (February 1, 2017). "Joe, Jill Biden launch The Biden Foundation". CNN. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  11. Roberts, Roxanne (July 30, 2017). "Joe Biden still wants to be president. Can his family endure one last campaign?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  12. "Jill Biden to Be Named Board Chair of Save the Children". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. February 21, 2017. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  13. Sack, Kevin; Burns, Alexanders (January 2, 2019). "Biden Has Set a Careful Path to a 2020 Run". The New York Times. pp. A1, A13.
  14. Dovere, Edward-Isaac (2019-04-19). "Joe Biden Is Running for President". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  15. Zeleny, Arlette Saenz,Jeff (2019-04-23). "Joe Biden to announce his 2020 presidential bid on Thursday | CNN Politics". CNN. Retrieved 2023-04-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. "Presidential Election Results: Biden Wins". The New York Times. 2020-11-03. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  17. Prokop, Andrew (2020-11-06). "Why Decision Desk called Pennsylvania, and the presidential race, for Joe Biden". Vox. Retrieved 2023-04-11.
  18. "Jill Biden will be historic first lady: Just call her 'Professor FLOTUS'". www.usatoday.com. 7 November 2020. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  19. "Jill Biden: From second lady to Professor FLOTUS". CNN. Retrieved 2023-03-05.
  20. "Joining Forces: New Year's Update". White House. January 5, 2022. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  21. "Strengthening America's Military Families: White House Report on Administration Commitments to Support the Families of Service Members and Veterans, their Caregivers and Survivors". White House. September 30, 2021. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  22. "Dr. Jill Biden: First Lady". White House. Archived from the original on August 6, 2022. Retrieved August 6, 2022. Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden was born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey, to Bonny Jean Godfrey Jacobs and Donald Carl Jacobs. ...
  23. Hilton, Jasmine (April 28, 2021). "Jill Biden leading the way on community college tuition coverage, Biden says". Politico. Archived from the original on July 30, 2022.
  24. Cite error: The named reference independent was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Krause, Amanda (September 17, 2020). "Jill Biden's $695 'vote' boots are selling fast days after she wore them in public". Business Insider. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Grindell, Samantha (November 11, 2020). "Jill Biden made a statement in a $5,690 dress from a designer with a long history in the White House, and it's already sold out". Business Insider. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.

Writings

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Official websites

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