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Amy Poehler

Barbara Boxer

Joe Biden Biography

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Birth Name: Joe Biden
Born: 11/20/1942
Birth Place: Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA

Born Nov. 20, 1942 in Scranton, PA Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. grew up a charming, athletic young man who shone more as a football player and class leader than a student, but went on to graduate from the University of Delaware as well as Syracuse University College of Law. The 30-year-old Biden pulled off an impressive political coup when he won a democratic Delaware Senate seat in 1972 against massive odds, but suffered a horrific tragedy when his wife and infant daughter died in a car accident that December. The media proved sympathetic to Biden's strength and he rose through the ranks to attempt a 1988 Democratic presidential run, which fell apart over plagiarism accusations. He helped repair his image, however, with such high-profile successes as the Violence Against Women Act and became one of the most visible and senior members of Congress.

After he failed to capture the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Biden instead landed Barack Obama's vice president slot and acquitted himself well in arguably the most famous vice presidential debate of all time, when he and Sarah Palin went toe to toe. Biden's ability to surprise with off-the-cuff remarks that could be alternately eloquent or controversial, summed up Biden's enormous personal charm - his ability to speak from the heart, no matter how unpredictable or gaffe-prone, that, while occasionally frustrating, endeared him to many constituents and colleagues alike. The popular satirical website The Onion took special delight in skewering an extremely exaggerated comic caricature of Biden, and he served as the ultimate fantasy of Pawnee politician Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) on "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009- ).

By Jonathan Riggs