Beau Biden, who followed his father, Vice President Joe Biden, into politics and was twice elected attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday of brain cancer less than two years after he was diagnosed. Beau Biden was 46.
The younger Biden, who suffered a series of health problems in recent years, was hospitalized this month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington for then-undisclosed reasons. He suffered a mild stroke in 2010 and three years later underwent surgery at a Texas cancer center to remove what was describe as a small lesion.
He announced last year that he would not seek a third term as attorney general and planned to run for governor in 2016.
“It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life,” the vice president said late Saturday in announcing the death of his second child. An infant daughter was killed in a car accident more than four decades ago.
“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us — especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children,” he said.
“Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth,” Obama said in a separate statement.
The vice president said his son had dedicated his life to serving others during stints as a lawyer, a major in the Delaware National Guard and as state attorney general. Beau Biden served a yearlong deployment in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star.
He most recently was with the Wilmington, Delaware, law firm Grant & Eisenhofer, where he focused on securities litigation and whistleblower cases.
“More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother,” said Joe Biden, who was at his son’s side at the time of his death, along with the rest of the Biden family. “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.”
“In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” the vice president added.
President Barack Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, were grieving alongside the Biden family.