From book author to irrepressible prankster, the woman who is poised to become First Lady of the United States has a fascinating life of her own.
Most people know Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of former vice president and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, as a devoted mother and grandmother, proud military mom, lifelong educator and passionate activist in her community. But there is so much more to the woman who is poised to become First Lady of the US. Here are nine little known facts about Jill Biden.
1. She is the granddaughter of Italian immigrants and was born Jill Tracy Jacobs on June 13, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey, but spent most of her life in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, with her parents and four younger sisters. Her father, Donald, worked at a bank, and her mother, Bonny, was a homemaker.
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2. After graduating from high school in 1969, she set out to study fashion merchandising at a junior college in Pennsylvania. Around that time she married the man she had begun dating shortly after graduating. They both decided to attend the University of Delaware, where Jill majored in English, but the couple drifted apart and were divorced by their junior year.
3. During a year off from her studies, Jill did some modeling for a local agency. She met Joe Biden in 1975, when his brother introduced the two. They went on a date shortly after.
4. After their first date to see the movie “A Man and a Woman,” Joe Biden took her home and shook her hand goodnight. She reportedly called her mother to say, “Mom, I finally met a gentleman.”
5. In 1977, two years after they met, the Bidens married. Joe proposed to the public school teacher five times before she accepted. Jill then became a loving mom to Beau and Hunter, his two young sons, who had been orphaned after a horrific car accident killed Biden’s wife and young daughter in 1972. “At 26 I worried, how do you make a broken family whole? But Joe told his boys ‘Mommy sent Jill to us,’” she remembered during an event held at José Martí Park in Little Havana in Miami, Florida, in October. “Love holds a family together. It makes us flexible and resilient.” It’s the same way, she added, that you make a country whole. In 1981 the Bidens had a daughter of their own, Ashley.
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6. While raising her family and working at a psychiatric hospital, she earned two master’s degrees. In 2006 Jill went back to school and in 2007 she earned a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware.
7. She wrote a children’s book, “Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops,” published in 2012. Her stepson Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2013, had been deployed to Iraq and Jill is a proud military mom.
8. She is a runner, a sport she fell in love with after participating in a breast cancer Komen Race for the Cure in the 1990s. Her exercise regime includes a five-mile run five days a week, along with some weight training.
9. She loves pulling pranks, and has been known to leave a plastic rat on the podium where Joe was speaking… which then mysteriously reappeared on his pillow. When things get too serious, “I like to add a little humor,” she has said.