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. if you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    We are thinking of you Joe. Sorry for your loss.

    January 8, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Love and prayers

    I am so sorry for your loss. I watched Mrs. Biden beam with pride as only a mother could at the Democratic Convention last year. I am so glad that she lived to see her son accomplish so many positive things in his life. May her soul rest in peace. I am praying for the entire Biden family. God bless you in your hour of sorrow.

    January 8, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. mary

    The true Peace of Christ/God our Father, be with you and your family.

    Today, my father passed away peacefully also, he was 89, and he too was surrounded by family and loved ones, at home. He too taught each of us about work ethic, and loving thy neighbor as thyself. He was a good man. If only we had more like him.

    January 8, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. odalice feliz

    Dear Mr. Vice President Joe I'am really sorry to hear that your mother passed away but I'm sure glad she had the chance to see you become vice president at 92...my deepest regards to you and your family..... always a loyal fan Odalice!

    January 8, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. bobjimflys

    It is sad for them, God Bless Mrs Biden...

    January 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    May she rest in peace. Our sincere condolences to the Bidens.

    January 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. kim in Las Vegas

    What a classy way you have handled this time in your life by the words you wrote. Your mom is for the ages now.

    January 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Michael J. Peete

    May the LORD GOD,keep our Vice President and his family in truth and perfect peace......................

    January 8, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Linda Morock

    My thoughts and prayers to the Vice President and his family.

    January 8, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Pastor/Kingsland

    Heart felt condolences to the Bidens. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God continue to keep and bless all of you.

    January 8, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Debra

    A man that truly loves his mother, you have my deepest sympathy, Mr Vice President.

    January 8, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Joe shes not gone to far away someones got to keep an eye on you .

    January 8, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Cindy from Middle GA

    Sending condolences to VP Biden and family. She was a lovely woman and she always smiled for Joe. :-)

    January 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Vet for Obama

    Mr. Biden,

    It was a pleasure to see your mother at both the DNC and the Inauguration. She shined with happiness and pride for you in your moment, as well as our moment, the ones who supported you. She sounded like one tough little lady that brought you up well. My condolences to you and your family during this time of loss.

    January 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. trying to be reasonable in West Virginia

    As one who has lost both parents within three years, I empathize and I sympathize. What a blessing it is to have had parents who led productive and positive lives, parents who left good in their wake. I'm sure the Biden family knows this, and it's my prayer for them that they able fully to celebrate her life.

    January 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. delaware atheist

    Joe, your a good man. sorry for your loss. we're proud of you.

    January 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Scott

    My condolences... without the condescending political remarks others have made.

    January 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Willie C Fields Jr

    Please accept my deepesr condolenses on the passing of your Mother. I sure she was a loving & careing mom. My God Bless your family in your in your time of sorrow. Willie C Fields, Jr

    January 8, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Dave

    Condolences to Biden and his family, and to the poster named Mary as well. Very sorry to hear of these losses.

    January 8, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Claudia

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother.

    My condolences go to the entire Biden family and close friends. May her soul rest in peace, may your hearts forever remember her as the strength that helped so many through out her 92 years of life.

    God Bless

    January 8, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. FM

    You are in our prayers Vice President Joe Biden and family. May Eugenia rest in Peace.

    January 8, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. victor

    may her soul rest in perfect peace

    January 8, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. HypocriCNN/FOX Nuisense Channel Of Fools!

    I Offer My Deepest Condolences To Vice-President Joe Biden And His Family. I Want To Thank The Late Mrs. Jean Biden For Raising Such A Beautiful Family, And Such An Outstanding Vice-President Of The United State Of America.

    January 8, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. slp

    My condolences go out to Vice President Biden and his family during this difficult time. May God grant you comfort and your memories give you peace.

    January 8, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. jj

    RIP mrs Biden!

    January 8, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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