Syracuse University Magazine

Beau Biden L'94


Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, former attorney general of Delaware and the oldest son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden L’68, died on May 30, 2015, of brain cancer. He was 46. A graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, Biden was a popular and dedicated public servant and an Iraq War veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star.

Biden, a rising political star who planned to run for governor of Delaware in 2016, stepped into the national spotlight at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where he gave a memorable speech introducing his father as the nominee for vice president. He began his career as a law clerk for a federal judge in New Hampshire and went on to work for the U.S. Department of Justice, serving several years as a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia. In 2001, he volunteered for an assignment to work in post-war Kosovo, helping to train judges and prosecutors there. In 2006, he was elected to the first of his two four-year terms as Delaware’s attorney general. A major in the Delaware Army National Guard’s Judge Advocate General Corps, Biden deployed to Iraq in 2008 and served there for a year. In 2011, Biden returned to campus to deliver the College of Law Commencement address.

“More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son, and brother,” Vice President Biden said in a statement. “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.”

He is survived by his wife, Hallie, and two children, Natalie and Hunter; his parents, Vice President Biden and Jill Biden; a brother, Hunter; a sister, Ashley; and their families.