The Truth About Jill And Joe Biden's Marriage

Amid the 2020 presidential election, a lot of attention has been placed on the two men leading the Democratic and Republican parties — Joe Biden and Donald Trump, respectively. And while Trump's marriage and the awkward moments shared between him and his wife, Melania Trump, have been on full display throughout his time in the White House, a lot less is widely known about Jill Biden, who could become the nation's newest first lady.


Joe and Jill Biden have been married since 1977. She has stood by his side throughout the bulk of his political career just as he has stood by her side during her career as an educator. They have been the nation's vice-president and second lady, have campaigned all across the country, and are — as of publication — leading in the presidential polls.

But what is the backstory of Joe and Jill Biden? How did they meet, and what was their relationship like before Joe took on the national spotlight as Barack Obama's VP? We dug through the reports, watched the interviews, and discovered all the information you need to know. Here is the truth about Jill and Joe Biden's marriage.

Joe Biden's brother introduced him to Jill Taylor Jacobs

Before Joe Biden met Jill, his life hadn't been easy. His first wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972, as noted by Insider, leaving him with his two sons to raise. But similarly, Jill's life had its ups and downs. She was married prior to meeting Joe, and had gotten divorced in her junior year of college. 


But as noted by Harper's Bazaar, the timing for the couple couldn't have worked out any better, and Joe's brother gave him the nudge to call Jill Taylor Jacobs. Joe gave his future wife a call, and the first thing she said to him was, "How did you get this number?" She later informed Joe that she was, in fact, getting ready to go on a date with another guy. Joe must have been persuasive because Jill eventually canceled her date and gave Joe a chance. "I called and told the guy I had a friend in from out of town, and went out with Joe," she said during a video featured at the Democratic National Convention (via Harper's Bazaar). Take it from Jill, ladies, and always use the friend line to change your plans.


Jill Biden held the family Bible when Joe was sworn into office in 2009

Jill and Joe Biden started their time in the White House on a sweet note in 2009. When Joe took the oath of office as vice-president of the United States, Jill stood by his side and held the Biden family Bible, which Joe placed his hand on. As noted by Time, the Bible had belonged to the Biden family since the 1890s — it's five inches thick and features a Celtic cross on the cover. 


And to those who are familiar with the Bidens, the choice to use such a book for the occasion did not come as a surprise. Joe was sworn in on the very same Bible every time he had made it back into the United States Senate, and his son Beau also was sworn in with it when he became the attorney general of Delaware. On that January day in 2009, Jill stood by her husband as he became the second most powerful person in the country, and she looked at him in a way that all of us wish for. The couple reprised their roles in 2013, when Joe was sworn into office as vice-president again.

When his wife became Dr. Jill Biden, Joe Biden presented her with her doctorate

Joe Biden might be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, but his wife, Jill Biden, comes with an equally impressive resume. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, prior to Joe's time in the White House, Jill already had two master's degrees and had worked for almost 25 years as a college professor. But with the encouragement and support of her husband, Jill took on another education pursuit: getting her doctorate — talk about a power couple. 


Joe is noted to have said to her, "Why don't you go out and get a doctorate and make us some real money?" which reportedly always received a chuckle when the couple appeared in university towns. But Jill really did just that, and in 2007, she received her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. As such, she has since been referred as Dr. Jill Biden, and rightly so. And to top it off, Joe gave Jill her doctorate at her graduation (via Insider). How heartwarming is that?

In a surprising move, Jill Biden kept her full time job when Joe served as VP

Unlike any other second lady, Jill Biden maintained her full time employment as a college professor while her husband served as vice-president with President Barack Obama, and it's a choice that she was quite well known for. As noted by CNBC, Jill would walk around the White House with papers needing to be graded, something that even First Lady Michelle Obama picked up on. 


"Jill is always grading papers," Michelle said. "Which is funny because I'd forget, 'Oh yeah, you have a day job!' And then she pulls out her papers and she's so diligent and I'm like, 'Look at you! You have a job! Tell me! Tell me what it's like!'" 

And if Jill assumes the role of first lady starting in 2021, she has plans to maintain her employment — becoming the first first lady to hold a job outside of the White House. Jill told CBS News that she is going to continue teaching, even if her husband is elected president, to continue inspiring her students. "It's important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession," Jill said.

Joe Biden took Jill to the movie theater for their first date

We love a first date story, and Joe and Jill Biden's is truly so good. While being interviewed by Vogue, Jill spilled about the first date that Joe took her on and the impression she had of him when he came to pick her up. "I was a senior, and I had been dating guys in jeans and clogs and T-shirts, he came to the door and he had a sport coat and loafers, and I thought, 'God, this is never going to work, not in a million years,'" Jill Biden, who's had a stunning transformation, said. But it did work out, and for good reason. 


Jill shared that after she and Joe saw the film A Man and a Woman and a movie theater in Philadelphia, they "hit it off." And to top off what is truly a great first date story, Joe drove Jill home and shook her hand as a gesture of goodnight. Talk about receiving a ten out of ten for respect. "I went upstairs and called my mother at 1:00 a.m. and said, 'Mom, I finally met a gentleman,'" Jill said. The rest is history.

Joe Biden gave Jill the sweetest gift for Valentine's Day

What a lot of people might not know is that the vice-president and his family, much like the president, are given an official residence while in office. A Victorian-style house located on Observatory Circle has been home to the vice-presidential families of modern history, as noted by The Washington Post, and Joe Biden made a very sweet and long-lasting gesture to his wife while living in the residence in 2010. 


As a Valentine's Day gift, Joe surprised Jill with a plaque located on one of the property's tall trees saying, "Joe Loves Jill, Valentine's Day 2010." Excuse us while we go cry our eyes out. As noted by ABC News, Valentine's Day is the couple's favorite holiday to celebrate. Interestingly, they both claim that their marriage is "no great love story," but have credited their parents with giving them both good examples of what a healthy relationship looks like. Good luck to all of us out there who are of the divorce generation.

Instead of a honeymoon, Joe and Jill Biden opted for a vacation with his two young sons

It's pretty widely known that welcoming a step-parent into the family can be tough for kids. After all, the idea of a replacement parent sounds pretty jarring. But that wasn't the case for Joe and Jill Biden. Joe had two sons from his first marriage, Hunter and Beau, that stood right alongside their father as he remarried. Literally. 


As noted by The Washington Post, the two young boys stood up at the altar with Joe and Jill as they said, "I do." Joe even wrote in his memoir that, "the way they thought of it, the four of us were getting married." How sweet is that!

Joe and Jill got married at the United Nations chapel in New York City in 1977, and followed the friends and family-only ceremony with a lunch reception. And in line with including Joe's sons in every step of the process, Joe and Jill opted to take the new family of four on a vacation rather than spoil just themselves with a honeymoon, as noted by Vogue.

The Bidens commemorated their time as VP and second lady with this sweet detail

Inspired by the children's garden at the White House which notes the names of the presidential children and grandchildren, Jill Biden was inspired to commemorate her and her husband's time as second lady and vice-president, respectively, with a sweet detail at the vice-presidential residence. 


As noted by The Washington Post, Jill became responsible for the Family Heritage Garden at the residence. The garden, in a circle design with lush greenery, features a fountain placed at the center and large pavers surrounding it. She then went to work commemorating the Biden family tree for the garden and compiled the names of the Biden family members for the permanent fixture. 

The names of the Bidens and their children were carved into the stone surrounding the fountain, as are the names of the former vice presidential families that lived on the grounds. Even the pets got a shout-out — Joe and Jill's pets, late cat Daisy and German shepherd Champ, were included on a stone in the garden.

Joe Biden proposed five times before Jill said yes

Persistence is key, and Joe Biden was well aware of that when asking his future wife for her hand in marriage. As noted by Vogue, Joe asked Jill to marry him five times before she said yes — you read that correctly, five times. But Jill had good reason for her hesitation, and she explained why Joe had to ask her so many times in an interview with the fashion magazine. 


"I said, 'Not yet. Not yet. Not yet.' Because by that time, of course, I had fallen in love with the boys, and I really felt that this marriage had to work," Jill said. She went on to explain that she took the decision of marrying Joe and joining his family that much more seriously, in part, because Joe's sons, Hunter and Beau, had already lost their mom and she "couldn't have them lose another mother." 

"So I had to be 100 percent sure," she said. Joe eventually gave Jill a stern ultimatum and said that he didn't care when they got married, so long as there was commitment between them. That sealed the deal, and Jill finally said yes.

What Jill Biden thinks of Joe's bromance with Barack Obama

When Joe Biden's time as vice-president was winding down, a slew of memes displaying his close relationship with Barack Obama flooded the internet — and some were even pointing to the made-up antics that Joe got up to in the White House (think of Joe leaving whoopee cushions all over the place for Donald Trump to find once he assumed office). 


In a joint interview with Michelle Obama for Entertainment Weekly, Jill Biden talked about the bromance between her husband and Barack Obama and pointed out just how funny and yet kindhearted it was. "Isn't that hysterical?" she said when asked about the memes. When questioned about what her husband and Obama would do after their time in the White House, she said, "They're going to be eating ice cream somewhere, I'm sure." But pointing to the more serious side of the relationship, Jill said it had "become a truly beautiful friendship." She concluded, "I don't think we've really seen a lot of that and especially in politics. I think they really love one another." 

Joe Biden's sons call step-mom Jill "Mom"

The transition from "Jill" to "Mom" was seamless for Joe Biden's sons — so much so that he pointed it out in his memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics. As noted by The Washington Post, Joe wrote that he and Jill Biden never sat Hunter and Beau down to talk about what they were going to call Jill once she was in their lives. Instead they just transitioned to calling her "Mom" on their own. 


"Neilia [Joe's first wife] would always be Mommy, but Jill was Mom," he wrote. "When she embraced me and the boys, she embraced everything." Beau and Hunter even went as far as saying later in their lives, when asked by the press, that they didn't have a stepmom at all, but that they just had a mom. And that person was Jill. 

Jill later stood by Joe's side and put on the bravest of faces when Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, at the age of 46. In a statement released to the press, noted in The New York Times, the Biden family put it simply: "Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known."

Joe Biden's sons encouraged their dad to propose to Jill when they were just 6 and 7

If anyone realized that Joe Biden needed to propose to Jill before he realized himself, it was Joe's sons. As noted by The Washington Post, Joe spoke about the day that 7-year-old Beau and 6-year-old Hunter told their dad that he needed to get a move on and propose. 


"One morning ... Beau and Hunter walked into my bathroom while I was shaving, and I could tell they had something serious they wanted to talk about ... they were having trouble getting started," Joe recalled in his memoir. As the former vice-president tells it, the boys were clearly nervous and tossed the responsibility of saying what they wanted to say amongst each other before Hunter blurted out, "Beau thinks we should get married." And by we, Hunter was referring to the four of them — himself, Beau, Joe, and Jill. 

"'Well,' Beau said, 'we think we should marry Jill. What do you think, Dad?'" Their dad clearly liked the idea because he eventually popped the question. "I'll never forget how good I felt at that moment," Joe wrote about that morning.


Joe and Jill Biden gave the task of naming their daughter to their sons

A few years after Joe and Jill Biden got married, she found out she was pregnant with their daughter — and they found out at the same time Beau and Hunter Biden did, as they were in the car when she drove to the drugstore to buy a pregnancy test. As noted in The Washington Post, Beau and Hunter knew about their baby sister well before their dad did, and Jill "never forgot how excited they were that day." 


She sweetened the deal by telling the boys that they could pick the name for their sister, and they went with Ashley. Ashley Biden — the only biological child of Joe and Jill — was born on June 8, 1981, and as such, Jill gave up her teaching career for a time to take care of all three kids. 

As noted by ABC News, Jill said that she did all of the things that the '80s moms did. "I did hot dog day at the school, worked at the library and all those sorts of things," she said. "And it worked." Of course, Jill went back to school both as a teacher and as a student, and Joe continued growing in his political career.

Jill Biden has been her husband's biggest defender

The relationship shared between Joe and Jill Biden has been in the spotlight during the 2020 campaign, as Jill has been by Joe's side pretty much every step of the way. From supportive hugs after the presidential debates to joining him at campaign stops, Jill has been there and has played a pivotal role. One of the most well-known instances where Jill jumped to Joe's protection, literally, was at his Super Tuesday rally held in Los Angeles. 


As noted by USA Today at the time, Jill fended off a handful of animal rights protestors who had mounted the stage at the campaign stop along with a senior campaign adviser, Symone Sanders. Joe laughed off the incident during his speech to the crowd, which included the mayor of Los Angeles and actors, including everyone's favorite Leonardo DiCaprio. "I'm probably the only candidate running for president whose wife is my Secret Service," Joe said. "Whoa, you don't screw around with a Philly girl, I'll tell you what." When she vowed to love him "'til death do us part," she really wasn't kidding.