Beau Biden — full name Joseph Robinette Biden III — the eldest son of Joe Biden, has died from brain cancer at the age of 46.
Biden, who was an Iraq Veteran and served as the Attorney General of Delaware, died on Saturday evening after being taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C earlier this month for reasons that, at the time, were left unexplained.
This is the second major tragedy that the Vice President of the U.S. has experienced.
Shortly after winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1972, his wife Neilia and 3 children were in a car crash. Neilia and their 13-month old daughter Naomi were killed, while their two sons, Beau and Hunter, both toddlers at the time, were critically injured.
Biden opted not to move to Washington, choosing instead to make the 2 1/2-hour daily round-trip train commute from Delaware to his Senate job so he could spend more time with his sons. His two sons were reportedly the ones who helped persuade their father to marry his second and current wife, Jill Jacobs, five years after the accident.
Beau Biden’s health struggles were known as far back as 2010, when he suffered a mild stroke and underwent surgery at a Texas cancer center in August 2013 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was subsequently given a ‘clean bill of health’ that November after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
His most recent hospitalization, the office of the Vice President has now revealed, came after Biden’s cancer returned.
He announced last year that he would not seek a third term as attorney general and instead planned to run for governor in 2016.
Beau Biden got married in 2002 to Hallie Biden and had two kids, Natalie, 11, and Hunter, 9.
President Obama released a statement on Biden’s death Saturday evening as well. He said he and his wife Michelle considered him a friend, and praised his public service and devotion to his family.
Hillary and Chelsea Clinton also paid tribute, describing his as a ‘wonderful man’ who was ‘so full of life, love, honor, and service.’
Vice President Biden late Saturday announced the death of his son Beau Biden with this statement:
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 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, Natalie and Hunter.
Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.
More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. 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.