Biden's life and career
Nov. 20, 1942: Born in Scranton, Pa., the first of four children.
Summer 1953: Moves to Claymont, Del.
September 1957: Attends Archmere Academy in Claymont, a Catholic prep school.
June 1965: Graduates from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science.
Aug. 27, 1966: Marries Neilia Hunter.
June 1968: Graduates from Syracuse University law school, begins work as a trial attorney at a law firm in Wilmington, Del., and serves as a public defender.
Feb. 3, 1969 : Birth of first child, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III. (Now 39, he's attorney general of Delaware.)
Feb. 4, 1970: Birth of second child, Hunter. (Now 38, he has worked as a corporate lobbyist.)
November 1970: Elected to New Castle County Council.
Nov. 8, 1971: Birth of third child, Naomi Christina.
November 1972: Elected one of Delaware's U.S. senators, beating an incumbent Republican.
Dec. 18, 1972: Wife and three children are in an automobile accident while Christmas shopping. Wife Neilia and daughter Naomi die. Sons Beau and Hunter are critically injured but fully recover.
Jan. 5, 1973: Sworn in to the U.S. Senate at the bedside of the still-convalescing Beau and Hunter in Wilmington.
January 1975: Becomes a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he later chairs.
January 1977: Becomes a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he later chairs from 1987 to 1994.
June 17, 1977: Marries Jill Tracy Jacobs, a schoolteacher.
November 1978. Wins re-election to U.S. Senate. Again in 1984, 1990, 1996 and 2002.
June 8, 1981: Birth of daughter, Ashley. (Now 27, she's a social worker.)
June 9, 1987: Announces candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. Is derailed after Biden used, without attribution, the words of British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. "Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university?" Biden asked. "Why is it that my wife, who is sitting out there in the audience, is the first in her family ever to go to college?" Kinnock had earlier asked, "Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Why is Glenys (his wife) the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?"
Feb. 11, 1988: Undergoes successful surgery after two brain aneurysms are diagnosed.
1991: As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas hearings, he's criticized for not being quick to scrutinize allegations by Anita Hill that Thomas harassed her. Eventually, Biden convenes hearings examining the charges and votes against Thomas.
2001: Becomes chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A year later, he's battling leaders in his own party over whether to give President Bush broad authority to wage war in Iraq.
Jan. 31, 2007: Announces his bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Jan. 3, 2008: Drops out of presidential race after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses.