Biden is proud of his humble upbringing and considers alcoholism a “curse” for the family

Those interested in political figures rarely write about the life of the US president’s father, Biden Sr., or about the turbulent family history of President . Perhaps the most important and detailed information in this regard was contained in journalist Richard Ben Cramer’s 1992 book, What the Situation Requires, a lengthy and personal report on the 1988 presidential campaign. Biden, the father, did not speak with Kramer, and the journalist relied on Mostly interviews with Jimmy Biden – with whom he shares the family stories he’s heard – and with Jane Biden, the president’s mother. When Joe Biden published Promises to Fulfill, he repeated many stories from Kramer’s book, some of which he quoted almost verbatim.

One of Biden’s political skills is his ability to connect with the working class and the middle class. In his speeches, he often emphasizes his humble upbringing. “I grew up in a family that felt the price of food was going up,” he said in his modest family, adding, “I remember when my father had to leave our house in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to find work.” A different story about Biden’s father, Joseph Robinette Biden. Some say he was working at a car dealership when his son was elected to the Senate, in 1972, but according to Jimmy Biden, one of the president’s younger brothers, his father’s casual clothes were a sports coat and hoodie, a metaphor for his belonging to the wealthy class. Interested in sports. Biden wrote in his memoirs that he opened his father’s locker and found his father’s polo hammer, equestrian shoes, horseback riding and deer hunting, items that indicate a life full of wealth and luxury. It is said that at one point Biden Sr. had a lot of money, but lost everything, for reasons that are often unexplained. “I didn’t ask him much about his life, nor did he tell me much about it,” Biden wrote.

The curse of alcoholism

There is a tragic history of the Biden family with alcohol. Hunter Biden, the president’s son, had problems with alcohol and drug abuse, which his father’s opponents had turned into a political weapon, along with his controversial business dealings. And if Republicans take over the House in November, they plan to hold more hearings focused on Hunter.

The president regards alcoholism as a kind of curse that afflicted the family. After growing up in this alcoholic family, he chose to stay away from alcohol for good. He also urged his brothers and, later, his sons, not to drink alcohol, although in the end all of them did not listen to his advice, some continued to drink in moderation, and some reached the point of addiction.

Advertising boy

Joseph Robinette Biden, Sr., was born in Baltimore in 1915. As a child, he contracted Sydenham’s cholera, a neurological disorder that causes muscle spasms, which kept him out of school for several months. Apparently his father, Joseph Harry Biden, who did not want to leave his son at home, took him to work every day, and the two became very close. Joseph Harry worked for an American oil company, which later became known as Amoco. He was one of the first three employees hired by Amoco’s founder, Louis Blaustein. In its early days, the company would sell kerosene and transport it in a steel tank mounted on a horse-drawn cart. Joseph Harry was photographed next to the carriage, and Amoco used the image in its advertisements. Internally, employees were referring to “Joe Biden’s tank” in reference to a kerosene tank, and Joseph Harry became an Amoco poster boy.

After starting a low-paid factory clerk at the company, he moved on to a sales job, and in the 1920s was hired to run a new branch in Wilmington. Internal magazine Amoco described him as an exemplary employee, writing, “Biden’s 17-year record is an outstanding example of a man who has grown with his company.”

In 1930, when Biden Sr. was at the height of his career at the age of 14, he got another promotion and bought a house. It was the first home for the Bidens. But he soon fell into debt, and in 1934, after failing to keep up with tax payments, the house was auctioned off. In the same year, he was demoted and sent to a branch in Scranton.

He remained working at Amoco until 1941, when he developed a cerebral hemorrhage and died at the age of 48. Amoco, in recognition of his long career and the company’s use of his image “in all kinds of advertisements”, decided to pay his widow Marie the equivalent of his salary for a year – about $4,000 – in monthly installments, spread over three years. Payments were halted after Mary’s death in 1943.

window character

One of the most influential figures in Biden’s life was his uncle and godfather Bill Sheen, who was married to Mary’s sister, Alice. The Sheens lived in Baltimore, and they had a son, Bill Sheen, who was about a year older than Biden Sr. Shane, the father, was intelligent and ambitious. He was also stubborn and sensitive to insults. At the age of 15, he sued a music hall that kicked him out of its show for appearing nude. He demanded $1,000 in damages, but the court ordered the music hall to pay only 26 cents, the equivalent of a ticket to the hall, plus a penny settling his case.

Over the years, Shane, the father, became a successful businessman. When the United States entered World War I, he was working as a bishop, winning war contracts, as one newspaper described it, “a million-dollar job from Uncle Sam.”

The Chen family began to live lavishly, and Biden Sr. took advantage of their newfound wealth. After his family left Baltimore, he returned during the summer months to stay with the Sheen family. He began to live a double life: in Wilmington, and later in Scranton, a modest life because his father was stingy, but in Baltimore, he lived well, because of his profligate uncle. “Every few years, Shane, the father, bought new Cadillacs for himself and his son, and he bought my parents a Buick Roadster,” Biden wrote. They also had horses, planes and yachts. According to Sheen, Biden Sr., and Sheen Jr., were allowed to participate in fox hunting in rural Maryland because of their lineage.

“I grew up in a family that felt the price of food was going up,” Biden said in his 2022 State of the Union address. “I remember when my father had to leave our house in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to look for work.”

Hunter Biden, the president’s son, had problems with alcohol and drug abuse, which his father’s opponents had turned into a political weapon, along with his controversial business dealings. And if Republicans take over the House in November, they plan to hold more hearings focused on Hunter.


Biden’s passion for real estate

Biden with his son Hunter. archival

Biden with his late wife and late son and daughter. archival

American journalist Adam Antwas recounts that in 2019, he wrote an article for a magazine about Hunter Biden, the youngest son of President Joe Biden, describing his childhood in Wilmington, Delaware. Through the affluent neighborhoods, where they infiltrated empty properties that were either abandoned or on the market.” “If the front door was locked, Hunter says, my dad would lift us through a second-floor window, then we would run downstairs and open the door for our dad to come in.” And he goes on, “If a real estate agent arrives, Biden, who was at this point a senator, asks the agent to walk him through these properties.”

The president’s family lived on their own estate, a 10,000-square-foot mansion with a ballroom. Biden had a limited budget for the house, closing large sections with walls to save on heating costs. “I’ve been a real estate fan since I was a kid in high school,” Biden wrote in his 2007 memoir.


The Bidens tragedy

Biden with his extended family. archival

In 1972, Joe Biden’s first wife, Nelia, was driving with their three children when she had a road accident with a tractor-trailer. Nelia and her daughter Naomi died on the spot. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Biden exploited rumors that the other driver was drunk, saying he assumed he had “drank” that day instead of eating his lunch. But investigators determined that the trailer driver was sober, and years later Biden apologized to one of the driver’s daughters for repeating this false story.

Her sons, Beau and Hunter, were taken to the hospital after the accident, and after they recovered fully, their father encouraged them to stop drinking, and Beau took these warnings seriously. When he was young, his father called him Sheriff, because he followed the rules and was always in control of himself. He didn’t drink alcohol until he was 21. At the University of Pennsylvania, he told a friend that he had avoided drinking because his mother and sister had been killed by a drunk driver. When he was in law school, he started drinking in moderation, but only in secret, because he didn’t want his father to know.

Hunter was more rebellious than Poe, and began drinking as a teenager, although he never drank in front of his father either. His drinking behavior worsened in 2002, when he was working a job traveling between Wilmington and Washington. He spent most of his afternoons at the Bombay Club, across the street from his office, where he drank his favorite beer. He went to drug rehab for the first time in 2003, and when he got out, Beau took him to the airport. Over the years, he suffered frequent setbacks. In 2015, Poe died, and the following year Hunter says he developed a cocaine addiction.

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