Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden was born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey. Growing up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, she graduated from Upper Moreland High School in 1969. She attended the University of Delaware, receiving a bachelor’s degree in English in 1975. That same year, she met Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware. On June 17, 1977, they were married in New York City at the United Nations Chapel. She became the mother to his two sons, Joseph “Beau” III and Hunter, and in 1981 their daughter, Ashley, was born.
In 1976, Jill Biden began teaching at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, and later Claymont High School. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she pursued a Master of Education from West Chester University. She later taught at Rockford Center, a psychiatric hospital in Delaware, while working toward a Master of Arts in English from Villanova University. In 1993, she took a position at Delaware Technical Community College. She earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Delaware in 2007.
During her husband’s vice-presidency, Dr. Biden taught at Northern Virginia Community College. As Second Lady of the United States, she advocated for military families, community colleges, and educational opportunities for women and girls. In 2015, Dr. Biden and then-Vice President Joe Biden lost their son Beau to brain cancer. Together, they pushed for a pledge to cure cancer through the White House Cancer Moonshot.
After leaving office in 2017, the Bidens established the Biden Foundation and launched the Biden Cancer Initiative. In 2019, Dr. Biden’s memoir, Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself, became a New York Times bestselling book. The following year, she published JOEY: The Story of Joe Biden, her second children’s book.
As First Lady of the United States, Dr. Biden continues to advocate for military families, cancer research, and education for young women. She is a professor of writing at Northern Virginia Community College.
Read a full biography of Dr. Biden on whitehouse.gov.
You Might Also Like
Podcast U.S. First Ladies: Making History and Leaving Legacies
Since the founding of America, spouses and relatives have served as White House hostess, public servant, and unofficial presidential adviser....
Podcast Voices from a Night at the Met
Since November 3, 1961, the White House Historical Association has served as the private partner to the White House to enrich, enhance,...
Collection The Presidents
Biographies & Portraits
Collection The First Ladies
Biographies & Portraits
2023 Presidential Sites Summit Schedule
Monday, September 25 12:00pm: Registration at the Mayflower Hotel 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: White House Reception Please join us for a White House Re...
Bio Michelle Obama
Michelle Robinson was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 17, 1964. Her father, Fraser, was a pump operator, and her mother, Marian,...
Bio Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1953, the Biden family moved from Pennsylvania to Delaware....
For much of American history, the spouse of the Vice President of the United States did not maintain a prominent...
Here Kitty Kitty
First families have welcomed pets to the White House since its earliest occupants assumed residency. Dogs have been the most...
Notably Absent: Presidential No-Shows on Inauguration Day
Since 1789, the Inauguration of a president has marked the beginning of a new chapter in American history. As historian Paul...
In 1848, Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts was offered the vice-presidential nomination for the Whig Party, alongside presidential nominee Zachary Taylor....
The Presidents Timeline
GEORGE WASHINGTON | 1789-1797 JOHN ADAMS | 1797-1801 THOMAS JEFFERSON | 1801-1809 JAMES MADISON | 1809-1817 JAMES MONROE | 1817-1825 JOHN QUINCY ADAMS | 1825-1829 ANDREW...