January 8th, 2010
05:22 PM ET
4 years ago

Vice President's mother dies at 92

ALT TEXT

Jean Biden stands with her son, Vice President Joe Biden, next to President Obama and his mother-in-law, Marian Anderson, on election night in 2008. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden on Friday announced the death of his mother, Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan Biden. She was 92.

Biden said his mother died Friday at the family's home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by loved ones.

"At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times. She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves," Biden said in a statement.

The vice president's father, Joseph Robinette Biden Sr., who was married to Jean Biden for 61 years, died in 2002.

(Vice President Biden's statement, as released by the White House, after the jump)

In his acceptance speech in August 2008 for the Democratic vice presidential nomination, Biden said of his mother: "She believes that bravery lives in every heart, and her expectation is that it will be summoned. Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable."

"As a child, I stuttered, and she lovingly would look at me and tell me, 'Joey, it's because you're so bright you can't get the thoughts out quickly enough,'" he said. "When I was not as well-dressed as the other kids, she'd look at me and say, 'Joey, oh, you're so handsome, honey, you're so handsome.'

"And when I got knocked down by guys bigger than me - and this is the God's truth - she sent me back out and said, 'Bloody their nose so you can walk down the street the next day.' And that's what I did."

In addition to the vice president, her eldest son, Jean Biden is survived by sons James Biden of Pennsylvania and Francis Biden of Florida, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release

January 8, 2010

Statement from Vice President Joe Biden

“My mother, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Finnegan Biden, passed away peacefully today at our home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and many loved ones. At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times. She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves. Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor. Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us.”

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Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    My heartfelt condolences to Vice President Biden, his family and all those who knew his mother. God bless!

    January 8, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. NSR

    Condolences to the Bidens.

    January 8, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    My sympathies go out to the Vice President and his family for the loss of his mother. I will keep them all in my prayers.

    January 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Tram

    Condolences.

    January 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. bobster

    that a way joe, good man!

    January 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. dude palin

    I am sorry for your lose ...

    January 8, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Future expat

    My deepest condolences to the Biden family.

    January 8, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. CRV

    My condolences to our Vice President and his family...

    January 8, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Sound-bite-king-cobra

    Awww
    Say it ain't so Joe!!!!!!
    Thanks for making her proud.
    What a Son!
    What a Mum!!

    January 8, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Nevada dude

    I am sad for Joe. :(

    January 8, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Asif Zulfiqar

    Condolences to the Biden family and the loved ones of the departed. God bless!

    January 8, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Mark in Utah

    I may not agree with his politics one bit, but my condolences to the family and friends of Jean Biden.

    January 8, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Dar

    God Bless

    January 8, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Jose

    My thoughts go out to you and your family Vice Pres Biden. May you all find comfort in the common love you share as a family during this time.

    January 8, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Justin

    My condolences. Will keep the Bidens in my prayers.

    January 8, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Joe Jacks

    My prayers go out to your family!!

    January 8, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Danielle

    My deepest condolences to the Vice President and his family. She seemed like a sweet lady.

    January 8, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Diego E

    My deepest condolences, Mr. Vice President, to you and your family on your loss. I'm glad to read the values she taught your family and hope it translates to future generations of the Biden Family. God bless.

    January 8, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Sam Smith

    My condolences, Mr. Vice President. She must have been very proud of you, and rightly so.

    January 8, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Concerned Democrat

    My sympathies to the Biden Family.

    May God comfort your family!

    January 8, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Ohio Marie

    My deepest sympathies to the Biden family. How very fortunate to have your mother in your life for such a long time. the memories should be cherished forever.

    January 8, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Tim in Syracuse

    I'm sorry for you loss. You and your familiy are in my thoughts.

    January 8, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Blue

    What a wonderful story about a wonderful lady.

    January 8, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Bob Ramos

    In 1965 I lost my mother who was 45 at the time. So, I have an idea of what Joe is going through. God Bless Mrs. Biden and her family.

    January 8, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. NC

    My deepest sympathy to the Biden Family. You are all in our Prayers. May God Bless all of you.

    January 8, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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