BETHESDA, Maryland: Former Delaware attorney general Beau Biden, the oldest son of Vice President Joe Biden, died Saturday of brain cancer, the vice president’s office said. He was 46.
Biden had been hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center May 19 for treatment of a then-undisclosed illness. The vice president’s office said Saturday he had a relapse of a brain cancer first diagnosed and thought cured in 2013.
The vice president and the rest of his extended family were at his side when he died, the vice president’s office said.
“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words,” the vice president said in a statement. “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.”
Biden, a two-term attorney general for the state his father represented in the Senate for 36 years, was a Democratic candidate for governor in 2016.
But he had battled health problems for years, including what was described as a minor stroke in 2010. In 2013, he had a small lesion removed from his brain at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
President Obama said he and his family were grieving with the Bidens.
“Beau took after Joe,” Obama said in a written statement from the White House Press Office. 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,” Obama said. “Just like his dad.”
Named after his father, Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III was born in Wilmington, Del. in 1969, the oldest son of Joe Biden with his first wife, Neilia Hunter. He was just 3 years old when his father won an improbable victory in a U.S. Senate race in 1972. But the next month he was seriously injured in an auto accident that killed his mother and sister.
Beau Biden graduated from the University of Delaware and, like his father, attended law school at Syracuse University.
He worked in the U.S. Justice Department for nearly a decade before winning election as state attorney general. He served as a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, and spent a year of his first term deployed to Iraq, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
As attorney general, his focus was on prosecuting child sexual abuse and protecting homeowners from foreclosure.
Biden is survived by his wife, Hallie, and their two children, Natalie and Hunter; his parents, the vice president and Dr. Jill Biden; his brother Hunter Biden, sister-in-law Kathleen, and nieces Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy; and his sister Ashley Biden and brother-in-law Howard Krein.