"She gave me back my life," Biden wrote about Jill in his memoir 'Promises to Keep.' "She made me start to think my family might be whole again."
As we prepare to welcome President-elect Joe Biden and the ever-charming Dr. Jill Biden back to the White House this January there is much about the soon-to-be first couple that's getting us giddy with excitement. Aside from bringing a refreshing change of tone to the roles of President and First Lady, the Bidens are also sure to restore a certain intimate and romantic quality to the title of America's First Family. The two are already all kinds of couple goals in the way they enthusiastically hype each other up in public and a look at their relationship over the years and everything they've been through shows exactly what makes their bond so strong.
Dr. Jill came into Biden's life at a time when he was just recovering from a life-altering tragedy that left his sons Beau and Hunter without a mother at the ages of 2 and 3. According to E! News, the Delaware resident was just days away from starting his first term as a senator when his life came to a crashing halt on December 18, 1972. A tractor-trailer slammed into the station wagon Biden's wife and college sweetheart Neilia Hunter Biden was traveling in with their boys and 13-month-old daughter Naomi Biden. Neilia and Naomi were killed instantly in the crash "and they weren't sure that my sons would live," the former vice president reflected in a 2015 Yale commencement speech.
"Neilia was my very best friend, my greatest ally, my sensuous lover," he said of his first wife, reports Express. "The longer we lived together the more we enjoyed everything from sex to sports? When you lose something like that, you lose a part of yourself that you never get back again." With Beau and Hunter hospital-bound for months, Biden was sworn into his new position at their bedside. "The incredible bond I have with my children is the gift I'm not sure I would have had, had I not been through what I went through," he noted in his speech. "But by focusing on my sons, I found my redemption."
Three years later, the then-junior senator also found love. His brother Frank Biden slipped him the number of a young divorcée named Jill Jacobs, a senior at the University of Delaware, and suggested talking to her. Jill, who was separated from first husband Bill Stevenson — the owner of a local college bar — at the time, was preparing to go out with another would-be suitor when Biden took his brother's advice and gave her a call. "'How did you get this number?' Those were the first words I spoke to Joe when he called me out of the blue on a Saturday in 1975," Dr. Jill noted in an August tweet.
"How did you get this number?"— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) August 18, 2020
Those were the first words I spoke to Joe when he called me out of the blue on a Saturday in 1975.
I’ll be speaking tonight at the #DemConvention. I hope you’ll tune in! pic.twitter.com/t0amDEM2kT
She shared more details of their first interaction in a video played at August's Democratic National Convention, revealing that Biden convinced her to call off her date and go out with him instead. "Well, I called and told the guy that I had a friend in from out of town, and went out with Joe," she said. The two really hit it off on their first date and were soon falling in love with each other. "When I met Jill, I fell in love with her when I saw her," Biden said of their instant connection, reports Harper's Bazaar. Meanwhile, Beau and Hunter "hit it off" from the first time they met Jill and welcomed her into the fold for all major holidays and regular weekday evenings, the doting father explained.
Although Jill was quite taken with the junior senator and his two young boys, she was quite young at the time and wanted to make her own mark on the world while also helping her community. She was also apprehensive of the responsibilities that came with being a senator's wife as she wanted to become a teacher and aspired to have a career of her own. "I never imagined at the age of 26 I would be asking myself, 'How do you make a broken family whole?' Still, Joe always told the boys, 'Mommy sent Jill to us,' and how could I argue with her?" Jill shared in her speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Ultimately, it was the boys who pushed for more. Months into their romance, Beau and Hunter informed their father of their plans for the relationship. "Dad, we think it's time we married Jill," they told him. "'I think that's a pretty good idea,' I told them. I'll never forget how good I felt at that moment," Biden detailed in his memoir. However, Jill required a bit of convincing. "I asked her to marry me five times," Biden revealed. "It wasn't just my heart that was on the line. I loved the boys so much, I had to be sure that it had to be forever," Dr. Jill explained.
The couple finally tied the knot in an intimate ceremony with just around 40 close friends and family in June 1977. They exchanged vows with Beau and Hunter standing beside them at the altar and four years later, the Bidens had their daughter, Ashley Blazer Biden in 1981. "She gave me back my life," Biden wrote about Jill in his memoir Promises to Keep. "She made me start to think my family might be whole again."