Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr
(b. Scranton, Pennsylvania, 20 Nov. 1942)
US; Vice-President 2009– Biden grew up in Scranton and graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965 and from Syracuse (New York State) Law School in 1968. After being admitted to the Delaware bar, he practised law in Wilmington. His first successful election was to New Castle County Council in 1970. In 1972 he was elected as Senator for Delaware for the Democratic Party. He was re-elected in 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008. In the Senate, he has specialized in foreign relations, chairing the Foreign Relations Committee between 2001 and 2003 and between 2007 and 2009. He opposed the 1991 Gulf War and was instrumental in securing US military assistance in the Bosnian War; he also warned of the risks of long-term US involvement in Iraq.
Biden served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995 and he sought the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1988, but withdrew after a speech in which he was rather embarrassingly found to have plagiarized a speech of Neil Kinnock relating to having been the first member of his family to attend university. He again sought the Democratic Presidential nomination unsuccessfully in 2008, but accepted Barack Obama's invitation to be his running mate, giving the Obama ticket greater weight in foreign policy matters, and was inaugurated as Vice-President in January 2009.