Joe Biden: Everything you need to know about the 2020 presidential candidate originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
Former Vice President Joe Biden joined the crowded 2020 Democratic field on April 25, declaring his candidacy for president nearly two years after he exited the White House alongside former President Barack Obama. Biden entered as a likely front-runner in some of the early-nominating contests to take on President Donald Trump.
Name: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
Date of birth: Nov. 20, 1942
Hometown: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Family: Married to Jill Biden, father to Hunter, Ashley and the late Joseph Robinette 'Beau' III and Naomi. Biden's first wife, Neilia, died in a car accident with their daughter Naomi.
Education: He graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School.
What he does now: Since leaving the White House, Biden and his wife announced the launch of the Biden Cancer Initiative to invest in efforts for cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care. Biden's son, Beau, died in May 2015 after battling brain cancer.
What he used to do: He served as vice president from 2009 to 2017, with Obama. From 1973 to 2009, Biden served in the U.S. senate and was on two key committees as both ranking member and chairman: the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served on the New Castle County Council after finishing law school.
Key life/career moments:
After publicly supporting same-sex marriage ahead of his boss, Biden reportedly apologized to Obama in 2012. But Obama said in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts: "I think Joe is an extremely generous loving person. And I think he was responding honestly in terms of how he felt."
Biden supported protecting women from all forms of violence -- even teaming up with performer Lady Gaga in 2017 to support the "It's on Us" campaign against sexual assault.
Perhaps one of the most poignant moments of his vice presidency came when Obama surprised Biden with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The University of Pennsylvania announced the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement to honor his "unsurpassed understanding of diplomacy and far-ranging grasp of world issues" in 2017. That same year, the University of Delaware announced a partnership with Biden to launch the Biden Domestic Policy Institute.
During Biden's senate career, he oversaw the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his role as the head of the Judiciary Committee. He was criticized for his handling over the hearing, after Anita Hill testified before the committee. Biden voted against Thomas, but the Senate nonetheless confirmed the then-nominee. Biden has publicly apologized to Hill, and said in March at the Biden Courage Awards he regrets he "couldn't come up with a way to get [Hill] the kind of hearing she deserved."
In 2002, Biden voted for the Iraq War, a decision he later said was "a mistake."
Where he stands on some of the issues:
Biden has voiced his sharp contrast with President Donald Trump's approach to dealing with foreign leaders, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and slammed the president for diminishing the standing of the U.S. on the world stage. Biden said he would end family separation at the southern border and Trump's travel ban on seven majority Muslim countries.
He also said he would "end forever wars" in Afghanistan and the Middle East and end U.S. support of the Saudi war in Yemen.
Biden's plan for health care would make the Affordable Care Act easier to navigate with more choices for Americans. His plan would expand upon the Affordable Care Act passed under the Obama-Biden administration and provide a public option for patients to buy into, rather than a Medicare-for-all system that several of Biden's 2020 rivals advocate for -- a contrast Biden has already started to draw on the campaign trail.
The former vice president has raised $21.5 million since launching his presidential bid on April 25, according to the campaign. This is the first time the Biden campaign announced his fundraising figures, and Biden's total, while not topping South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg's $24.8 million haul in the second quarter, suggests that he has raised more money per day than any other Democrat, considering his total comes from just the first 66 days into his campaign compared to the entire 90-day period Buttigieg had to raise money this quarter.
According to the campaign, 97% of the donations were from grassroots supporters who gave less than $200. More than 256,000 donors gave over 435,000 donations and the average donation was $49.
Biden's campaign, in the announcement, also said that the campaign did not take in any money that would be directed to the general election fund and that the campaign has actively refunded any donations over the individual contribution limit of $2,800 per election. Other candidates, including Buttigieg, have accepted donations that would be directed to the general election fund.
What you might not know about him:
As a child and teenager, he struggled with a stutter. A young Biden overcame the affliction through public speaking.
During his college years at the University of Delaware, Biden played football.
Biden was first sent to Washington in 1972 when the people of Delaware elected him to the U.S. Senate at 29 years old. He was one of the youngest people elected to a seat in the upper chamber.
In the weeks after being elected to the Senate in 1972, tragedy struck the Biden family after a car accident killed his first wife, Neilia and their 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, and severely injured his sons, Beau and Hunter. In 1977, he married Jill Biden.
After Biden's 46-year old son, Beau, lost his battle to cancer in 2015, Obama eulogized the former Delaware Attorney General during a memorial service. The Biden family received 72,000 condolences through the White House's virtual system after the death of Beau -- and condolences were submitted from every state, according to the vice president's office.
One of Biden's significant achievements during his time at the helm of the Judiciary Committee was appointing California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to the dais. She was the first woman on the committee.
ABC News' Molly Nagle, Sruthi Palaniappan and Christine Szabo contributed to this report.