Beau Biden Dies Of Cancer At Age 46

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, has died of brain cancer at the age of 46. The vice president has issued a statement:

It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life. The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter. Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse. More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. 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.

Beau Biden first entered the national spotlight in 2008 when he delivered a rousing speech introducing his father at the Democratic National Convention. He had been considered the frontrunner in the 2016 Delaware gubernatorial race.

UPDATE: President Obama has issued a statement.

Michelle and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family – Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter – are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get. Beau took after Joe. He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s Attorney General. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched – and he lives on in their hearts. But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family. Just like his dad.

Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known. He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family. It’s one of the things we love about him. And it is a testament to Joe and Jill – to who they are – that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family. The Bidens have more family than they know. In the Delaware they love. In the Senate Joe reveres. Across this country that he has served for more than forty years. And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight – for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan.

“I have believed the best of every man,” wrote the poet William Butler Yeats, “And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.” Beau Biden believed the best of us all. For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher. Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth.

  • DaddyRay

    Oh no – Condolences to VP Joe Biden, he has lived through more than his fair share of tragedy.

  • sherman

    So sad. Joe and Beau have had more than their share of tragedy.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Condolences to Beau’s wife and children, Jill and Joe Biden and all their family. Cancer sucks!!

    • Todd20036

      My coworker, and one of the few straight people I ever told I was positive died of brain cancer… at the ripe old age of 44. I feel for the Bidens. No parent should have to bury a child, let alone 2

  • bkmn

    Wow. That was fast. Sending thoughts to the family.

  • Queequeg

    How horrible. Parents expect their children to outlive them, and I believe Joe’s first wife died in an accident. My heart goes out to the Bidens.

    • DaddyRay

      His wife and daughter

      • Greg B.

        Beau and his brother survived that accident. Read Joe’s memoir – if you don’t already respect him, you will.

        • DaddyRay

          I have nothing but respect for Beau and the rest of the Biden family

      • Queequeg

        Really tragic. It has to be difficult to bear up.

    • Yes Joe’s first wife Neilia Biden and their infant daughter Naomi died soon after he was elected Senator from Delaware in a terrible car crash. Beau and his brother Hunter survived the crash. Joe was elected Senator at 31 years old. . I interned for Joe when I was a student at U of Maryland in Washington D.C. for one summer while he was still Senator, and he made a point to say hello to me and actually talk to me at age 18 and make me feel important simply because he is such a great guy and one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

      • Gene

        what a GREAT and wonderful experience for you! And, its good to have confirmation that he is the guy I always thought he was.

      • TampaZeke

        Thanks for sharing that. Great story.

      • Queequeg

        He’s got to be really strong to deal with the amount if tragedy that he has. You were lucky to have known him.

  • Ryan Hunter

    My thoughts are with them.

  • bsinps

    Condolences to the Vice President and hid family.

  • Justin

    I feel real sympathy for the family. Cancer is awful. Brain cancer is horrific. I watched a colleague of mine succumb to an aggressive form of it years ago, and it left a vivid impression of just how horrible it is.

    • sherman

      In 2004, after I voted I went to the hospital to visit my neighbor who had been battling it. He didn’t recognize me, nor was really lucid. He had lost his hair long before, and his partner of 8 years shaved his head in support. That day the bigots of Ohio passed the Republicon sponsored constitutional amendment to prohibit legal recognition of gay families. About a week later he passed. He was 38, and a veteran. His partner eventually lost the house.

      A year and a half later I lost another friend to cancer. He was 39 and and contracted it due to exposure to chemicals while in the Army. He gave up after a 10 year battle. His partner of many years was left with bills, but no benefits.

      My tolerance with the right wing has been at zero since then. Any “friends” I had that are Republicons are no longer people I associate with.

      • Ron Robertson

        And I cannot blame you for that at all. How terrible for everyone concerned. Hope the survivors are doing better now. No one should go through all that.

      • johncAtl

        I suspect your life is better without those “friends.”

        • Bill

          I have “learned” that ANY illness is a total pain. But first what an awful way to start the day, by reading this, Biden story.
          Then my heart to goes out to ALL that with have to deal with such illnesses.
          The “Joke” in my personal life, is that
          my husband was diagnosed with Cancer, He went for the Gold Standard, with Stage 4- during the Windsor Supreme Court trial.
          I TOLD HIM, he better not die, before the outcome of the trial, due to his SS income. It’s been just under 2 years now, and his Little Red Choo is still going. Also YES, you need to an incredible sense of “positive thoughts, and keep the negatives as far away as possible.
          TO the Bidens’ and All as much as it’s awful, hopefully in “Joe’s” case there was little and or no pain. He closed his eyes and went to sleep and or Neverland.

      • Bj Lincoln

        I remember the day Ohio did that to us. It was on of the worst days in my life. That and Bush 2 cheated his way into office for the second time. I was ready to run to Canada that night.

    • Cattleya1

      Any death which robs you of your mind is devastating. Nobody promises us tomorrow, but his is one candle which definitely burned out too soon.

  • Blake J Butler

    So terribly sad for a parent to lose a child. Its suppose to be the parents go first, not this way. Can’t imagine the pain Joe and Jill and the rest of the family must be feeling.

  • RobynWatts

    Much condolences to Vice President Biden and his family. That family has been through a lot of loss.

  • Larry in Oklahoma

    Sympathy and compassion for their families!!

  • bcarter3

    Biden’s life has been full of tragedy and early death. From Wikipedia:

    “On December 18, 1972…Biden’s wife and one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping… Biden’s sons Beau and Hunter survived it and were taken to the hospital in fair condition, Beau with a broken leg and other wounds, Hunter with a minor skull fracture and other head injuries.”

    Joe Biden’s a good man. Remember that he’s the one who pressured President Obama to “evolve” on marriage equality.

    My sympathy to the family.

    • DaddyRay

      “Remember that he’s the one who pressured President Obama to “evolve” on marriage equality.”

      I did not know that – thank you Beau

      • bcarter3

        Sorry I wasn’t clear about that. It was Joe Biden. not Beau. I’ve edited my comment to clarify that.

        • DaddyRay

          Didn’t know that either – thank you for the clarification

    • Greg B.

      Joe is a good man. And Beau was his father’s son. So basically our generation just lost our Joe.

      • yeah, that’s what i was thinking. this is a loss to the Biden family, but also for all of us who had hopes in the next generation of politicians. . all of america should grieve.

        • Gene

          that was my first thought also Chicago dyke. My deepest condolences to the Biden family in this time of awful pain and loss. and, I am saddened to see the loss of someone I thought would go very far politically…..and, brain cancer…that is not a thing I would have wished on my worst enemy.

          • ZhyKitty

            The sheer horror of that death…and almost equally horrifying would be watching someone you love go that way.
            I shudder to imagine.
            I don’t know how you’d hold on to your sanity.

          • charemor

            As someone who has spent a lifetime as a church musician and played for many funerals, the death of a child is the most difficult to cope with.

          • ZhyKitty

            I don’t know how you do that job without bursting into tears. I can never be in the vicinity of grief without crying.
            Bless you that you have that gift of music and share it with people in their time of need.

          • charemor

            Thank you.

      • TampaZeke

        This reminds me of when JFK Jr. died far too young. Our best and brightest too often die young, when the most hateful and harmful conservative bastards seem to live for fucking ever!

        • Gene

          oh…just long enough to see their kids abandon their conservative congregations for “none” status of the liberal mainlines…and long enough for them to see gay marriage accepted with a yawn or smile by the American people.
          Take some comfort, when a good man dies to young, in that.
          (hug to a good man)

      • DiAnne Barrett

        Condolences to the Biden family.
        Rest in peace, Beau.
        May your memory be a blessing.

  • TampaDink

    I had no idea that Beau was battling brain cancer, just that he’d had some health issues. Sad for his wife, children, siblings, parents & friends.

  • Lakeview Bob

    I feel so sad at the moment. What a sad day for the Biden family.

  • Fiona_Alwyn

    Wow, that is really sad news. 46 is way too young. My thoughts and prayers are with the family tonight.

  • houstonray

    Deepest sympathies and thoughts with the Biden family and their friends. I knew he had some health issues but they never indicated it was life threatening. They kept this very private. I’m glad they were able to do that and I’m sure these last months have been spent showing him support and love as the family rallied around him.

    • William

      Any time someone is a patient at MD Anderson, it is serious and potentially life threatening.

  • bambinoitaliano

    It’s never easy watching a love one struggling and waste away. Beau Biden was diagnosed with brain cancer since 2010. It could not have been easy for him and his family to go through 5 years of battle. It’s one hell of a roller coaster right no one wants to be on. Let’s hope the next chapter of their lives are less tragic.

  • MikeBx2

    Brain cancer is such a scourge. My brother was struck down at age 52 by the disease. One day he was living a full life, then suddenly had a seizure and was eventually diagnosed. He lived about 10 months from diagnosis. Impossible not to have massive sympathy and empathy for the Bidens. RIP.

    • DaddyRay

      So sorry to hear about your brother

  • JCF

    Oh God. Did anyone (outside the family) know he was sick? My heart grieves for the Bidens. RIP. [And if wingnuts say anything hateful, PLEASE don’t tell me. I can’t.]

    • DaddyRay

      Happy to say I have not seen a hateful comment

      • TampaDink

        Stay away from Yahoo news.

        • DaddyRay

          Thanks for the heads up, I stopped reading yahoo comments years ago

          • TampaDink

            I really should do the same.

          • DaddyRay

            Yahoo comments used to be good back in the day, felt like they had a healthy debate. Then they suddenly stopped their commenting and when it was reintroduced the comments took a turn for the worse. I think it was because younger people had moved away from Yahoo and the only ones left were the old farts.

          • TampaDink

            To add to the “charm”….they’ve now managed to collect every psychotic nut job over the years.

        • Freeman

          Yahoo News is a disgrace. They feature daily hit jobs on Obama, Obamacare, etc. Also, right wing posts by hateful bigots like Pat Buchanan without a word of explanation as to the source. This is why it is now the Fox News of the internet.

          • TampaDink

            So very true. I closed that window when I realized that I was pissing into the wind by replying to some of the more hateful comments.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Good advice anytime. Along with regular exercise and plenty of rest.

    • JustSayin

      He has been sick on and off for a while and there was a notice in papers for this last hospital visit.

    • bambinoitaliano

      Let’s not dignify Beau’s passing by giving those haters any attention at all.

  • JustSayin

    He was a good guy and definitely a friend to the gay community. He will be missed.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Now I get how Joe Biden has this I don’t care attitude in him. How else can you live through life after going through what he has gone through?

    • Lumpy Gaga

      JB kicks ass. Our lamestream media has been trying to turn “Biden” into a one-word punchline for years.

      (Some of our so-called “friends” have, too.)

      I was pissed off about that shit long before today.

  • William

    Damn, he had such a bright future. A terrible loss for our country and his family.

  • Freeman

    Fuck cancer! Sick of it!

    • SockMikey

      My sentiments exactly.

      As a cancer survivor and witness to friends and others that weren’t so lucky.

      Kudos to compassionate family, Dr.’s and caregivers that are so important to recovery.

      It’s really fucked up that recovery and quality of care (survivor rate) sometimes depends on what insurance you have and at what facilities you are able to be treated.

      • Bj Lincoln

        One hospital 20 min. away is awful. No one wants to go there and all you hear are horror stories. The hospital my Dr. sends me too for everything is in town an hour away but they are great! Problem is, if you need an ambulance, they will only take you to the bad one. Otherwise drive yourself to town.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    I know the VP lost a child (and spouse) very long ago in an auto accident. Was Beau his only living child?

    Never mind. Read ahead. Jesus H. Christ.

    • DaddyRay

      No, Hunter also survived

    • TampaDink

      No. Beau & his brother Hunter were injured in the accident that claimed the first Mrs. Biden. He also has a half sister, Ashley (b. 1981) daughter of V.P. & Dr. Jill Biden.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Beau was readmitted for care a week-ish ago. Saw a single news blip.

    • DaddyRay

      Glad the media gave them some privacy and didn’t make a big deal out of it

      • johncAtl

        Kind of amazing that they did given who Dad is.

  • AJA

    How horrible. Despite his “off-the-cuff” reputation, Biden and his family always struck me as good people. A damn shame they have to go through this. On another note, that is a damn fine sentiment, Mr. President. If anyone can be half as kind about me when I go, it’ll be a life well lived.

  • Ninja0980

    RIP Beau.
    My thoughts go out to Joe Biden and his family.

  • Mark

    How terribly sad. Warmest thoughts and condolences to the entire Biden family.

  • JalapeñoBusiness

    RWNJs and TeaBillies are trolling this, because, of course they are. Fuckers.

    • johncAtl

      Fuckers is too kind a word.

  • GreatLakeSailor

    Nice write-up in The Guardian with a little health history.

    • ClevelandJim

      Thanks for sharing that.

  • Greg B.

    I really had no idea. My heart breaks. Our VP is an amazing guy who raised a son who could have followed in his footsteps. But we’ll never know.

  • Guest

    How sad for the family, one that has endured more than most of us.

    FOX has allowed comments on this story, and do not go there unless you need to be reminded of how truly vile the scum is that lives there. No explanation is possible for how truly horrible some people are.

    • johncAtl

      I’ll take your word for it that the good Christians/patriots, etc. are behaving as expected.

  • Six Pins Delores

    In my ignorance I had no idea that the Vice President experienced and has been going through trying times like this. I like the guy and wish his family well.

    • johncAtl

      I didn’t know about Beau’s battle with cancer, but I knew Joe’s history. The right makes fun of Joe for being human. He’s an average guy and says what he thinks. I can’t imagine that there is anything worse for a parent than losing a child. I wish Joe and his family well.

      • Six Pins Delores

        Can’t imagine any worse experience for a human being than the loss a child also. Very glad the kid was able to afford decent health care!

  • johncAtl

    Damn. Terrible thing to happen to a good guy. And I thought he would be a future leader of the Democratic Party.

  • Paul Weidig

    Our Vice President has endured so much senseless and inexplicable tragedy, his name should be “Job” Biden.

  • Ninja0980

    I hate the fact good people like Beau die young while vile people like Pat Robertson and Phyliss Schalfey seem to live forever.

    • johncAtl

      Phyliss? Isn’t there an antibiotic that can treat that?

    • anne marie in philly

      and the evil overlord, dark dick cheney.

    • vorpal

      The only reason why Pattycakes and SyPhillis are still alive is because neither heaven nor hell is willing to take them in.

    • And there is no warmth in their heart, so how can they die, they are the living dead.

  • ErikDC

    I grieve for the Biden family and especially the Vice-President, who has endured so much heartbreak in his family life.

  • anne marie in philly

    damn, that sux. way too young. fuck. :`(

  • That Guy

    My god. My heart goes out to anyone who’s had to bury their old child. My grandmother, the sweetest woman I’ve ever met, has had to bury two of her own.

    • ZhyKitty

      Bless your Grandmother’s heart.
      That’s my biggest fear.
      After you bury one, you live in fear every day of your life that it will happen again, because now you know it can really happen to your babies (whatever their age), and it’s not just something that happens to other people.

      My heart goes out to the family…
      It takes years and years to even begin to come to terms with the loss of your child…if you ever do. It takes such a big chunk of you with them when they go and you walk around with that emptiness in your heart every day thereafter, even once you get past the first year or two where all you’re really doing is putting one foot in front of the other, faking it through the days in front of others, and losing your shit whenever you’re alone.

      FSM give them strength to face the years ahead.

    • BearEyes

      Agreed, it’s a terrible duty for any parent. I remember my grandmother burying my uncle. She was never the same after.

  • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

    VP Joe Biden has certainly known more than his share of tragedy. Through all of it, he has been a resilient and decent man. My condolences and thoughts are with the family at this terrible time.

  • Joseph Miceli

    That’s just terrible. Hasn’t Joe Biden suffered enough tragedy? My best wishes to him and his family in this terrible time.

    • gaymex

      Joe must be a truly strong man to endure such heartbreak.

  • Jeffrey

    Wow he really did look a lot like his dad

  • Jeffrey

    This pic of Joe Biden being sworn in to the senate in 1973 by Beau’s side in the hospital after the crash that took his wife and daughter

  • Wilberforce

    I’m sorry. And such blessing as Galadriel has still to bestow, please go to the Biden family.

  • BudClark

    Iesu, mercy! Mary, pray! May the angels receive him into paradise, and may his soul rest in peace. Amen.

  • a good man has passed. RIP Beau Biden. your service will not be forgotten.

    i can’t even imagine how the family must be feeling. one of his sisters died in 1972. i sincerely hope the media scum give the Biden family privacy and time to grieve. all our condolences to them.

  • Happy Dance

    Bless his heart! So young, and had such a full career ahead of him! RIP and may the family find healing and comfort!

  • Mark

    I don’t yet know fully why…I can’t quite put my finger on it…but the older I get the more it rips at my heart when these young ones die. It brings home again and again that life is so precious – and every day is a prize.

    Condolences to his family and friends.

  • Dale Snyder

    It’s bad enough to lose someone to cancer, but to have it happen at such a young age is so heartbreaking.

    Cancer has taken everyone except my sister (a cancer survivor) in our immediate family and I just shudder anytime I hear this kind of news. I’m 50 and I feel like should’ve been gone a long time ago….

    • Gigi

      I’m sorry for your loss, but glad that you’re still here.

  • BearEyes

    too young.

  • BeaverTales

    As someone the same age as Beau Biden…and a cancer survivor myself, I am very saddened by this. Glad he went down swinging!! His life mattered to many.

    That is an inspiration to me, in this time of loss.

  • Smokey

    Walking the journey with someone dying from cancer is not for the feint of heart.
    RIP Beau

  • TreGibbs

    Oh no… Hard to find the words for this tragedy. Condolences to the Bidens, their friends and family. What an incredibly terrible loss.

  • The Professor

    I am originally from the Delaware try-state area, and love Joe Biden. He has had an outsize share of terrible tragedies in life and has dealt with it all in the most graceful way. He is an inspiration.

  • fuow

    He had fine potential. Such a loss.

    • Ninja0980

      Indeed, he easily could have been president four-ten years down the line.

  • AndyinChicago

    Ugh. I’m so sad for the entire Biden family, but especially Joe. He’s outlived 2 of his children now. How heartbreaking.

    • gaymex

      I can’t imagine the pain of outliving one child…but two…awful.

  • Gigi

    “There is no strength where there is no struggle.” – Unknown

    The Biden family must be very, very strong. RIP Beau. You will be missed.

  • TomF.

    It is truly tragic when a person of such sterling values, hard work, and serious commitment to the betterment of all is snuffed out at such a young age. But Beau Biden made the most he could of the time allotted to him, and we should all strive to follow his example and live as richly and meaningfully as he did. When a person of his caliber invests his life with meaning and devotion to his fellow humans, then one can believe than an early death fails to make the worst of a bad situation. Condolences to the entire Biden clan, and all their friends and family. And to us! Beau Biden would have continued to make the world a better place through selfless devotion and service. We are much the poorer that he will no longer be with us to lift us up and improve the world.

  • TomF.

    One can only think of other victims of brain cancer, to realize the horrible toll of that disease. George Gershwin and Eva Hesse come to mind. What tragic losses.

  • Bj Lincoln

    My heart breaks for all the Bidens today.
    Obama’s remarks were beautiful.
    I have always like Joe Biden. He is genuine and likeable. No parent should outlive their child. I can only imagine the pain.
    Blessed Be to the entire Biden clan.

  • TampaZeke

    Such sad news. America and the world has lost a scholar and gentleman and a patriot. Condolences to the Vice President and his wife and Beau’s wife and children.

  • TheManicMechanic


  • RIPBeau

    He was a VERY handsome man!

    His father is ugly, fake and sports cheap hair plugs.

    Only the good (and HOT!) die young.

    • gaymex

      You could have spared us most of that comment.
      The only remotely human part of it was RIP Beau

  • Kissmagrits

    My condolences to the Biden family. Losing anyone in their forties is far too soon. All my best wishes.

  • He contributed so much to his family and community at large. He leaves a wonderful legacy behind for his children and nothing but pride for his father and family. It astonishes me that while his life was cut so terribly short, he accomplished so many commendable things in his life. Inspiring, truly. Thoughts to his family, especially his kids.

  • fuzzybits

    Lately anyone I hear who has passed from or fighting cancer is very personal. My 48 year old nephew has been fighting pancreatic cancer for over a year now. The last couple months has been in and out of the hospital and just two weeks ago they went in and removed it from his intestines where it has spread. In the last year he’s lost over 100 lbs. ans is just skin and bones now. They just transferred him to a nursing home and he can’t eat or keep liquid down. You wouldn’t want to meet a more humane and giving person,and he’s been that way since a little boy. My sister and brother-in-law are besides themselves along with his wife and two daughters. This after last year my other sister losing a son. My sympathies to the Biden Family. If I would’ve had children this would have been a fear of mine. Cancer is a mean bitch!