The passing of Beau Biden

Last night, Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of the brain cancer he had been battling since 2013.

This is Beau Biden at the DNC in 2008, introducing his Dad:

(grab kleenexes)

From the White House: Statement by the President on the Passing of Beau Biden:

Michelle and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family – Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter – are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get. […]

… for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family.

Just like his dad.

Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known. He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family. It’s one of the things we love about him. And it is a testament to Joe and Jill – to who they are – that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.

This video is a clip from the Democratic National Convention in 2008 … Joe Biden’s introduction to the gathered group (and us at home) … when he was announced as the Vice Presidential nominee. Beau, and the rest of the family, are featured in the clip.

More information:
WaPo: Beau Biden, vice president’s son, dies of brain cancer

Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III, the son of Vice President Biden and former state attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday after battling brain cancer for several years.

Biden, 46, the oldest son of the vice president … had been admitted recently to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda as he fought the cancer, a battle that his father largely kept private in the last weeks as his son clung to his life.

He had announced plans to run for governor in 2016.

White House Blog: In Memory of Beau Biden

“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known” –Vice President Joe Biden

“… more than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did …”

Vox: Joe Biden’s 2012 advice to grieving families is all the more poignant now

In that 2012 speech, Biden talks about the constant weight of grief. “Just when you think, ‘Maybe I’m going to make it,’ you’re riding down the road and you pass a field, and you see a flower and it reminds you. Or you hear a tune on the radio. Or you just look up in the night. You know, you think, ‘Maybe I’m not going to make it, man.’ Because you feel at that moment the way you felt the day you got the news.”

Biden doesn’t end the speech easy. He doesn’t say the grief ever goes away. He just says, eventually, it makes room for other things, too.

“There will come a day – I promise you, and your parents as well – when the thought of your son or daughter, or your husband or wife, brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye,” Biden says. “It will happen.”

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11 Comments

  1. I think that is Hunter, Beau was 4 years old at the time of the crash:

    Andrew Kaczynski ‏@BuzzFeedAndrew
    Biden took his 1973 Senate oath at the bedside of his children who were injured in crash that killed his wife.

  2. Thanks for this post. It is so very sad for the Bidens. Joe Biden has already had more grief than one person can be expected to handle in a lifetime. And as for Beau, 46 is simply too young to die. He should have been able to see his children grow up.

    It just makes you think. Life is a gift and every day is something for which to be grateful.

    • Yes – the family has had more than its share of grief.

      They are in my prayers.

  3. What sad news this is. To think that Joe Biden has now buried two of his children. Such sorrow.

    From the White House blog you cite , these words of Vice President Biden struck me

    Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.

    May he rest in peace.

  4. This hit me really hard because of my best friend. She survived glioblastoma, which is a rare thing. Last year, we had a big celebration for her 49th birthday, because her doctors didn’t think she’d get a 50th. But she did. She walks with a cane & still can’t drive because it hasn’t been long enough since a seizure. Brain cancer just sucks. I’m so sorry for the Biden family.

  5. Cancer sux and brain cancer sux to the max – A friend of mine watched her son die of this after fighting the good fight for years. Daniel never made it to 40. He was between my own sons in age. I babysat him back in the day. And I’m not sure that didn’t hasten her own end – she passed of cancer a year ago last April. If there are any gods out there, may they send comfort and strength to Joe, Jill, and the family.

  6. Related news stories:

    Ordinary Del. folks honor Beau Biden’s service:

    Beau Biden was described by ordinary Delawareans Sunday as a good man — sensitive and caring, principled and tough.

    Many loved Biden. And even those who didn’t know him grieved for the former attorney general who had earlier announced he would run for governor in 2016. Biden, 46, died at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Saturday after a battle with brain cancer.

    “It’s tragic not just because he was so young, but because of what he could have done for his state,” said Darryl Skrovanek, a teacher at Dickinson High School and one of several Beau Biden fans among the lunch crowd at J’s Cafe in Greenville. “He was a good man.”

    Obamas visit Biden family after death of vice president’s son

    U.S. President Barack Obama visited Vice President Joe Biden and his family on Sunday to offer condolences after the death of Biden’s son, Beau. […]

    Obama and his wife, Michelle, went to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the vice president’s official residence, to offer their condolences to the Biden family.

    The Obamas had been scheduled to host a reception at the White House on Sunday but it was canceled out of respect for the Bidens.

    Other Washington officials and politicians took to social media to express their sympathies over the death of Biden, who was married and had two children.

  7. What Beau Biden Wanted Everyone To Know About The Issue That Defined His Career

    Beau Biden, son of the vice president, died tragically at the age of 46 from brain cancer on Saturday, but some may not realize that a cause Biden devoted himself to was trying to raise awareness about child sexual abuse.

    While Biden served as attorney general in Delaware, a position to which he was elected in 2006, he brought a successful indictment against Dr. Earl Bradley in 2010. The pediatrician was charged with 471 felony counts of child abuse involving 102 girls and one boy. Bradley was convicted in 2011, but sought appeal of his case on the grounds of ineffective counsel last year.

    “I cannot say certain things that I am feeling, and I am feeling a great deal. I am determined to see that this defendant will never, ever be in a position again to hurt another child,” Biden said in a statement following the indictment.

    Biden became something of a national spokesman on the issue, even speaking about the crimes of Penn State’s former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. (His father, Joe Biden, was an early supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, which targeted domestic violence.)

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