Robert Hunter Biden, who goes by his middle name of Hunter, is the second son of 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Of the two sons, Hunter has had the more varied life and career. He's always been a strong supporter of his father, but has also pursued his own career as a lobbyist, business owner, and international board member. That last role might be the aspect you're most familiar with: President Trump requested information from the Ukrainian government about Hunter's business dealing in the Ukraine (Hunter has denied any wrongdoing), and it resulted in an impeachment inquiry against Trump. Hunter, who's in recovery and has spoken openly about a long history of addiction, has pursued a different path of late, and Joe has remained staunchly in support of his younger son.
Hunter has had his fair share of family tragedy. When he was just two, his mom Neilia and his younger sister Naomi were killed in a car accident, and he was left critically injured, along with his older brother Beau. Beau suffered several broken bones and Hunter had a "severe" head injury. His father, seen below with Beau in bed, was sworn in at the hospital and traveled to Delaware from Washington, D.C., every day to be with them.
Joe's nickname "Amtrak Joe" resulted from the many, many train trips he took back and forth—every day for 36 years—to come home every night. Hunter is also a frequent commuter, and was nominated by President George W. Bush to a five-year-term on the Amtrak board.
Sadly, this wouldn't be the last time there was tragedy in the Biden family. In 2015, Hunter's older brother Beau died from brain cancer at the very young age of 46, leaving behind a wife and two children, one of whom is also named Hunter. Hunter and Beau had been very close, particularly after the accident that robbed them of their mother and sister. Hunter has struggled with addiction for decades, and Beau had accompanied him to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 2001.
Hunter became a lobbyist after graduating from Yale Law School, although he had early aspirations of being an artist. He worked as his father's deputy campaign manager, then began working in finance, although his support for his father and brother's political aspirations remained. "Beau and I have been there since we were carried in baskets during his first campaign,” he said. “We went everywhere with him. At every single major event and every small event that had to do with his political career, I was there. I’ve never missed a rally for my dad."
In 2007, after his father started a bid for the White House, Hunter moved away from a career in lobbying. Hunter and his father didn't discuss his work, but he worried that it might cause problems all the same. "I wanted my father to have a clean slate," he said. "I didn’t want to limit him in any way." He has since founded and cofounded companies and served on several boards.
The recent impeachment inquiry against Trump centered around the president's request for the Ukrainian government to look into any potential wrongdoing by Hunter, who was on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father and President Obama were working to address corruption in the country. Conspiracy theories about misconduct have been debunked; Hunter admits that the decision to take the role was "poor judgment," even though he says he did nothing wrong. Hunter has since resigned from the board of BHR, a company in China, to prevent the appearance of a conflict.
Joe has defended his son, saying, "No one has asserted my son did a single thing wrong. No one has asserted that I have done anything wrong except the lying president. That’s the only thing. That’s the focus."
Hunter's now living and working an artist, and says it's "literally keeping me sane." Recently, he's been in the news for another reason: A paternity suit revealed that he is the father of a child born in August 2018 and currently living in Arkansas. (Hunter had previously been married to Kathleen Buhle for two decades. They have three children together, and their split was apparently "acrimonious.") Hunter also had a brief relationship with Hallie Biden, his brother Beau's widow, from 2016 to 2017 or early 2018. In May 2019 after "a weeklong courtship," Hunter married filmmaker Melissa Cohen. Their son was born in March 2020.