By Katherine J Igoe published
Former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden Jr. has said that his father, Joe Biden Sr., has greatly impacted his life. Starting out life wealthy but suffering business and personal setbacks throughout his life, Joe Sr. taught his son about how to get back up after being knocked down. Joe Jr.'s family and neighbors also, inadvertently, taught him about the dangers of alcohol—and it's the reason he doesn't drink, according to him. Addiction has also touched his children, and Joe Jr. has sought to have an impact in that part of their lives as well. Here's what led to Biden's decision to stay sober and perspective about doing so.
Joe Biden saw the effect of alcohol addiction on others.
Joe Jr. has specifically said why he doesn't drink at all: "There are enough alcoholics in my family," he said in 2008 on the campaign trail. Joe Sr., was not an alcoholic but did drink. His mother's side of the family (maiden name Finnegan) and their neighborhood, however, suffered more severe effects.
"'Every family had it,' said Tom Bell, one of Senator Biden’s childhood friends from Scranton who remains close to him. 'But the Finnegans had more than their share.'" Later in life, Biden apparently saw the impact on his brother, Frank ("Frankie"), who is now apparently a recovering alcoholic.
Hunter Biden is an addict.
The Biden family has suffered a great deal of tragedy. In 1972, Joe Jr.'s wife and daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were critically injured. In particular, his youngest son, Hunter Biden, suffered a serious head injury. In 2001, Joe Jr's other son, Beau, died from brain cancer.
A photo posted by on
Hunter has been candid about his addiction to drugs and alcohol. He first sought treatment with the support of his brother Beau in 2001. He has been in rehab five times, including in the aftermath of Beau's 2015 death.
According to Hunter, his father has helped him through particularly difficult times in his journey to recovery, at one point insisting that Hunter needed help. The two still correspond regularly, and Hunter now says his recent work as an artist is "literally keeping me sane."
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.
Katherine’s a Boston-based contributing editor at Marie Claire online who covers celebrity, fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle—from “The Bachelor” to Everlane to Meghan Markle. She also edits the Couples + Money series, so she’s always looking for volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Igoe: “I go to the store,” not “Her huge ego".
The woman-owned sexual wellness brand wants to help you get in touch with yourself.
Gabi Butler and Morgan Simianer make for a truly cheerful (see what we did there?) pair.
By Marie Claire Editors
The 17 Best Drugstore Bronzers for All Skin Tones
Vacation in a bottle (or pan).
By Julia Marzovilla
Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson's Relationship Is No More
After three years of dating, the power couple have decided they're better off as friends.
By Marie Claire Editors
Education for Women and Girls Is Crucial for Climate Justice
In an excerpt from her new book, 'A Bigger Picture,' Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate discusses the impact educated African women and girls can have on solving the climate crisis.
By Vanessa Nakate
It’s Time to End Equal Pay Days and Pass the Equal Rights Amendment
The passage of the ERA is a chance for our country to prove it truly values women.
By Hala Ayala
In Conversation: Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Emily Tisch Sussman
“It’s ridiculous that we’re the only advanced nation on the planet that doesn’t help families with childcare.”
By Emily Tisch Sussman
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Anita Hill Believes We Can End Gender Violence
Three decades after her landmark testimony in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the esteemed professor and lawyer has a message for leaders: The time is now to prioritize anti-gender violence policies.
By Rachel Epstein
For Teachers, Going to Work Can Mean Life or Death
Stefanie Minguell, a COVID survivor and second grade teacher in Florida's Broward County, almost died of COVID-19 and is immunocomprised. When she teaches in the classroom, she’s forced to choose between her health and her students.
By Megan DiTrolio
Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics—And Neither Have Our Nation’s Moms
Policies touted in the $3.5 trillion budget plan and other Congressional bills are missing a core component of maternal well-being: menstrual access and health.
By Christy Turlington Burns