Jill Biden is the wife of Joseph R. Biden, Jr., the 46th President of the United States. She served as Second Lady from 2009 to 2017 and is currently serving as First Lady.
Jill Tracy Jacobs was born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey. The oldest of five children, Jill grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Upper Moreland High School in 1969, she went on to attend the University of Delaware, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1975.
Jill’s first position after graduating college was substitute teaching in the Wilmington school system. She went on to become an English teacher at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, Delaware. She then became a reading specialist at Claymont High School. While working as a teacher, Jill earned a Master of Education with a specialty in reading from West Chester University in 1981.
In 1970, Jill married Bill Stevenson, a former college football player. They separated four years later.
Marriage to Joe Biden
Jill met Joe Biden in 1975 on a blind date set up by Joe’s brother, Frank. He was already a U.S. senator and had lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident four years earlier.
Jill and Joe were married on June 17, 1977, at the Chapel at the United Nations in New York City. Jill became a stepmother to Joe’s young sons, Beau and Hunter. The couple went on to have a daughter together; Ashley was born in 1981.
While Jill left the workforce to raise her young children, her absence was brief. In 1993, Jill Biden taught English at Rockford Center psychiatric hospital while also working towards a Master of Arts in English from Villanova University. In 1993, she began working at Delaware Technical Community College. In 2007, she received a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Delaware.
Second Lady of the United
With her husband’s election to Vice-President under President Barak Obama in 2009, Jill Biden became Second Lady of the United States. Her key initiatives included highlighting the importance of community colleges, military families, and the education of women and girls around the world. She also worked throughout her entire tenure as Second Lady, teaching at Northern Virginia Community College.
Jill Biden hosted the inaugural White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama and led the Community College to Career Bus Tour to highlight industry partnerships between community colleges and employers. In April 2011, Jill joined Michelle Obama in founding Joining Forces, a national initiative to highlight the needs of U.S. military families.
In May 2015, Beau Biden died from brain cancer, which was a devasting loss for the entire family. After leaving the White House, Jill Biden continued to teach. Together, the Bidens launched the Biden Foundation and the Biden Cancer Initiative.
In 2019, Jill published her bestselling memoir, Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself. One year later, she released her second children’s book, JOEY: The Story of Joe Biden.
First Lady of the United States
Jill Biden played an active role in the 2020 presidential election, campaigning alongside her husband and on her own. She delivered a key speech at the Democratic Convention, speaking from a classroom where she had once taught English. She drew parallels between family suffering and the divided country, saying, “How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding and with small acts of kindness, with bravery, with unwavering faith.”
When Joe Biden took office on January 20, 2021, Jill became First Lady. She is the first in the role to hold a paying job outside the White House, continuing to teach at Northern Virginia Community College. She also continues to advocate for education, military families, and cancer research.