Joe Biden Remembers How Jill Biden "Gave Me Back My Life" After He Lost His First Wife and Daughter to a Tragic Car Crash

Joe Biden Remembers How Jill Biden "Gave Me Back My Life" After He Lost His First Wife and Daughter to a Tragic Car Crash

Neilia, his first wife, was his college sweetheart. "When you lose something like that, you lose a part of yourself that you never get back again."

Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Win McNamee, (R) Drew Angerer

As America prepares to welcome the new "First Family," the people are getting to know more about their president-elect Joe Biden as days pass by, for example, his adorable relationship with his wife and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. They can't help but praise each other at all times. Their special bond could also be because of the circumstances that were surrounding them when they met.

According to E! News, Biden was overcoming a grave loss when Jill became a part of his life. He was a newly elected United States Senator and his life changed on December 18, 1972, when he lost his wife and college sweetheart Neilia Hunter Biden to a tragic car crash. His sons Hunter, then-3 years old and Beau, then-2, were left without a mom.



Neilia was traveling with the boys and their 13-month-old daughter Naomi Biden when their station wagon crashed into a tractor-trailer. While both Neilia and Naomi passed away in an instant, Biden's sons were left hanging between life and death. In his commencement speech at Yale in 2015, the former vice president said "they weren't sure that my sons would live."


Reflecting on the relationship Biden shared with Neilia, Express reported him saying, "Neilia was my very best friend, my greatest ally, my sensuous lover. The longer we lived together the more we enjoyed everything... When you lose something like that, you lose a part of yourself that you never get back again."


However, life gave him another chance at love when his brother Frank Biden passed him the number of a young and divorced Jill Jacobs who was a senior at the University of Delaware. Jill back then had been separated from her husband, Bill Stevenson, who was the owner of a local college bar.

Talking about the shock she felt when Biden contacted her, she wrote on Twitter in August 2020, "'How did you get this number?' Those were the first words I spoke to Joe when he called me out of the blue on a Saturday in 1975."



Harper Bazaar reported that Jill elaborated about their first meeting at August's Democratic National Convention in a video and revealed that Biden convinced her to cancel her date with another suitor and go out with him instead. She said, "I called and told the guy that I had a friend in from out of town, and went out with Joe."


Biden fell head over heels for Jill right after they met. "When I met Jill, I fell in love with her when I saw her," he said. His sons too "hit it off" with her soon as they met her and she became a part of their family. From spending time with them during all major holidays and regular weekday evenings, she was there with them.

Even though Biden and his sons were ready to accept the young and aspirant Dr. Jill to their family, she had certain goals she wanted to achieve and make a name for herself before anything else. More than becoming a senator's wife, she wanted to become a teacher.


"I never imagined at the age of 26 I would be asking myself, 'How do you make a broken family whole?' Still, Joe always told the boys, 'Mommy sent Jill to us,' and how could I argue with her?" Jill added in her speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, reported E! News.

It was Biden's sons who pushed him to take his relationship forward. In his memoir Promises to Keep, the president-elect wrote that Beau and Hunter told him their plans and said, "Dad, we think it's time we married Jill. 'I think that's a pretty good idea,' I told them. I'll never forget how good I felt at that moment."



Headstrong, Jill wasn't easy to convince. "I asked her to marry me five times," Biden said. Explaining her point of view, Jill added, "It wasn't just my heart that was on the line. I loved the boys so much, I had to be sure that it had to be forever."

They finally said "I do" in June 1977 in an intimate wedding ceremony with Beau and Hunter by their side as they exchanged their vows. Four years later, they welcomed their daughter Ashley Blazer Biden in 1981. In his memoir, Biden wrote about his wife, "She gave me back my life. She made me start to think my family might be whole again."

When CBS News asked him about the secret to their marriage, he replied, "I adore her. It sounds... gonna sound so stupid, I was saying to her the other day when she comes down the steps and I look at her, I still... my heart still skips a beat."


Biden lost his son Beau in 2015 to brain cancer. He was 46 years old.