Timeline of Joe Biden's life and career

A timeline of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden's life and career: Nov. 20, 1942 - Born in Scranton, Pa., the first of four children.

Summer 1953 - Moves to Claymont, Del.

Sept. 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, enrolls in Syracuse University law school.

Aug. 27, 1966 - Marries Neilia Hunter.

June 1968 - After graduating from law school, begins work as a trial attorney at a law firm in Wilmington, Del., and serves as a public defender.

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Feb. 3, 1969 - Birth of first child, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III, now attorney general of Delaware.

Feb. 4, 1970 - Birth of second child, Hunter.

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.

June 17, 1977 - Marries Jill Tracy Jacobs, a schoolteacher.

January 1977 - Becomes a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he later chairs from 1987 to 1994.

November 1978 - Wins re-election to U.S. Senate.

June 8, 1981 - Birth of daughter, Ashley.

November 1984 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate.

June 9, 1987 - Announces candidacy for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

Feb. 11, 1988 - Undergoes successful surgery after two brain aneurysms are diagnosed.

November 1990 - Wins re-election to U.S. Senate.

November 1996 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate.

November 2002 - Wins re-election to U.S. Senate.

Jan. 31, 2007 - Announces his bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Aug. 1, 2007 - Releases his memoir, "Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics."

Jan. 3, 2008 - Drops out of presidential race after poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Aug. 23, 2008 - Named Barack Obama's running mate.