46 Photos of the Life and Career of Joe Biden, the 46th President-Elect of the United States
On the morning of Saturday, November 7, 2020, it became official: Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States. His running mate, Kamala Harris, will become the first woman, and first person of color to serve as the Vice President. The 2020 election lasted nearly five whole days, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on voting procedures. The race began to shift as mail-in ballots in key battleground states started rolling in, a majority in favor of Biden. It's what ultimately allowed Biden to come from behind in Pennsylvania, the commonwealth where he was born, and flip the commonwealth, which Donald Trump won in the 2016 election over Hillary Clinton.
Biden's political career began in 1973 when he was elected to the Delaware Senate, becoming the fifth-youngest elected Senator in American history. He served in the Senate until 2009, when he was inaugurated as the Vice President under President Barack Obama. Biden sat out the 2016 election, but returned in 2020 to a crowded democratic field to take on Donald Trump. He ultimately won the party's nation, and the rest is history. Here, we look back on the life and career of president-elect Biden, from his early days in the Senate through his Vice Presidency and beyond.
Then Senator-elect Biden and his late wife, Nelia, cut his 30th birthday cake at a party in Wilmington, November 20, 1972. His son, Hunter waits for the first piece.
Biden in 1973, shortly after he was elected to Congress.
Biden, in 1978, introducing the report of an 18-month investigation conducted by his Senate Intelligence subcommittee. The group reported "a major failure" by the government over the years to prosecute serious criminal leaks of sensitive information.
Biden speaks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Edwin Meese to be Attorney General in 1984.
Biden confers with Senator Ed Kennedy of Massachusetts during a Senate confirmation hearing for Chief Justice nominee William Rehnquist.
Biden announces his first run for president in Washington D.C. on June 9, 1987.
Biden with his wife, Jill, after announcing his bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.
Biden stands with his family after announcing his candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.
Biden, then Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivers the oath of office during a confirmation hearing for Judge Robert Bork as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on September 15, 1987.
Biden leaving Walter Reed Army Hospital after brain blood clot surgery in 1988.
Biden poses for a photo in the Senate office building in 1988.
And for a portrait in 1991.
Biden makes an opening statement before a hearing on Judge Clarence Thomas's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1991.
In his bid for president in the 2008 election, Barack Obama chose Biden as his running mate. Here, they campaign together at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library on August 31, 2008.
Biden, Obama, and their wives, Jill and Michelle, dine at the Yankee Kitchen Family Restaurant in Boardman, Ohio on August 30, 2008. It was their second day on the campaign trail.
Biden speaks at an Obama/Biden rally in St. Joseph, MO on October 9, 2008.
On January 18, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president. Biden speaks here at the inauguration celebration.
Jill Biden, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama during the 2009 Obama inauguration celebration.
Then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sworn in by Biden as her husband, former President Bill Clinton, her daughter, Chelsea, and her mother Dorothy Rodham look on in February 2009.
President Obama discusses national service with Senator Ted Kennedy, former President Bill Clinton, and Biden in the Oval Office in April 2009.
Biden greets visitors in the East Room of the White House in May 2009.
Biden talks with his son, U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad on July 4, 2009. Biden said that America's role in Iraq was switching from deep military engagement to one of diplomatic support, ahead of a complete withdrawal from the country in 2011.
Biden rides back to Atlantic City International Airport after attending a fundraiser for New Jersey governor Jon Corzine October 7, 2009.
President Obama listens as his advisors—(L-R) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Biden, National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis C. Blair, and CIA Director Leon Panetta—during a meeting about the situation in Pakistan in the Situation Room of the White House on October 7, 2009.
Biden looks on during Game Three of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Obama and Biden greet the delegation from the U.S. Conference of Mayors in the East Room on January 21, 2010.
Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Obama during Obama's State of the Union address in 2010.
Obama and Biden during a college basketball game between Georgetown and Duke on January 30, 2010.
Obama is embraced by Biden before signing the Affordable Health Care for America Act—also known as Obamacare—during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House March 23, 2010. Biden was heard on an open mic during this exchange telling the president, "Mr. President, this is a big fuckin' deal." The landmark bill was passed by the House of Representatives after a 14-month-long political battle that left the legislation without a single Republican vote.
An iconic image you've seen before: Members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1, 2011. Obama later announced that the United States had killed Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The Obamas and Bidens celebrate the incumbent president's re-election in the 2012 race, kicking off the second term of the Obama/Biden administration.
Biden arrives with family for a mass of Christian burial at St. Anthony of Padua Church for his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, on June 6, 2015 in Wilmington, Delaware. President Obama delivered a eulogy for the son of Vice President Biden after he died at 46 following a two-year battle with brain cancer.
Biden walks in the annual Allegheny County Labor Day Parade Monday September 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the time, speculation mounted regarding whether Biden would run for president in 2016, which he ultimately did not. Hillary Clinton received the democratic nomination, and lost to Donald Trump.
In 2019, Biden announced he would run for president again. Photographed here in May 2019, since announcing his candidacy in late April, he had taken the top spot in all polls of the sprawling Democratic primary field. Biden's rally on this day was his first large-scale campaign rally after doing smaller events in Iowa and New Hampshire in the past few weeks.
Biden participates in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas. This debate was between the top 10 candidates, after the field was cut from more than twice that.
After receiving the Democratic nomination, Biden faces off against President Donald Trump in a presidential debate on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly after the debate, Trump announced he and the first lady had both tested positive for COVID-19, a pandemic the president refused to take seriously, leading to the death of more than 230,000 Americans. After receiving treatment at Walter Reed, the president returned to the White House and immediately removed his mask in a show of force.
Biden arrives at The Queen theater on October 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware to record an interview with 60 Minutes.
Biden appears during the aforementioned 60 Minutes interview, which aired on October 25, 2020. The program conducted interviews with both candidates for president. President Trump abruptly ended his interview after complaining about the questions he was being asked. During his time, Biden answered most of his questions while looking directly into the camera, rather than at journalist Lesley Stahl, who was conducting the interview.
Two days later, Biden hosted a drive-in campaign rally in the parking lot of Cellairis Ampitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia. The "drive-in" took place due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the country. Meanwhile his opponent crowded supporters, many not wearing masks, into spaces at his rallies across the country, while continuing to downplay the pandemic.
Obama and Biden wave to the crowd at the end of a drive-in campaign rally at Northwestern High School on October 31, 2020 in Flint, Michigan. The state, which went to Trump in 2016, flipped back to Biden in the 2020 election, a key victory for the former VP in the race.
Biden puts on his sunglasses while speaking at a campaign stop at Community College of Beaver County on November 2, 2020—one day before the election—in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
Biden makes an election day stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Biden speaks at a drive-in election night event as his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, looks on at the Chase Center in the early morning hours of November 4, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden spoke shortly after midnight with the presidential race against Donald Trump still too close to call.
On November 4, the election continued as mail-in ballots continued to be counted and many races remained too close to call. When his opponent, President Trump, spoke in the early ours of November 4, he prematurely and inaccurately declared victory, while making accusations of fraud. In contrast, Biden's mid-day address urged Americans to remain patient, but the former VP relayed his confidence he would be the winner when all the votes were counted.
On November 5, as votes continued to be counted, Biden once again asked Americans to remain patient, and reiterated his confidence that he and Kamala Harris would ultimately win the election. Later that evening, Donald Trump addressed the country form the White House briefing room, once again citing fraud as the election continued to slip away from him. Overnight into November 6, Biden took the lead from Trump in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Around 11:30 a.m. on November 7, 2020, it became official. Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States after winning Pennsylvania—a state his opponent, Donald Trump, took in 2016.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.