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Beau Biden, Son of U.S. Vice President, Dies at 46

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, the former Delaware Attorney General and son of Vice President Joe Biden, died at 46 after battling brain cancer, the Vice President’s office announced Saturday night.

“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 Vice President said in a statement.

An Iraq War veteran and Bronze Star recipient, the younger Biden was a rising star in democratic politics. He declined to run for reelection in 2014 but was seen as a likely contender for his state’s governorship in 2016.

“More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother,” the Vice President said. “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.”

See the Life of Beau Biden

Biden And Family 1985
Joe Biden takes a mock oath of office from George H. W. Bush, accompanied by his family in Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 3, 1985. Lana Harris—AP
Joe Biden
Senator Joseph Biden, (D-Del.), center, waves to a crowd as his train leaves, after he announced his candidacy for President in Wilmington, Del., June 9, 1987. At right, Biden's son, Beau, carries Biden's daughter Ashley. Next to Biden is his wife, Jill, and son Hunter.George Widman—AP
Biden Pennsylvania
Vice President Joe Biden walks with his sister, Valerie Biden Owens, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, second left, and his son, Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, during a visit to Scranton, Pa., on July 3, 2012. Butch Comegys—AP
Barack Obama, Beau Biden, Jack Markell, Hallie Biden
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, left, next to Biden's wife, Hallie Biden, far left, and Delaware Governor Jack Markell as he arrives at New Castle Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., on July 17, 2014.Jacquelyn Martin—AP
Attorney General Beau and Vice Presidential candidate Senator Biden gesture on stage at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver
Beau Biden with then Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden on stage at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo. August 27, 2008. Chris Wattie—Reuters
Vice presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden embraces son Beau at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver
Then Senator Joe Biden embraces his son after his son introduced him at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 27, 2008. Larry Downing—Reuters
Beau Biden, Hunter Biden
In this Sept. 30, 2009 file photo, Capt. Beau Biden carries his son Hunter, 3, on his shoulders after an official welcome home ceremony for members of the Delaware Army National Guard 261st Signal Brigade in Dover, Del.Rob Carr—AP

“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” the family said.

The elder son of the Vice President, Beau, along with his brother, Hunter, survived a 1972 car crash that killed their mother and sister. Beau, who suffered a stroke in 2010, and was admitted to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas in 2013, is survived by his wife Hallie, and his children, Natalie and Hunter.

In a statement Saturday night, Delaware Governor Jack Markell said his family was “shattered” by the loss and extended “his deepest sympathies” to the Biden family. Calling Beau “an outstanding Attorney General, lawyer, soldier, and father,” he said, “I feel privileged to have served with him and Delaware is a better place thanks to him.”

President Barack Obama also released a statement, saying “Michelle and I are grieving tonight.”

Obama quoted the poet William Butler Yeats in a tribute to Biden saying, “I have believed the best of every man,” [Yeats said]. “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,” Obama added. “For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.”

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