WASHINGTON (AP) — Beau Biden, who followed his father, Vice President Joe Biden, into politics and was twice elected attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday of brain cancer less than two years after he was diagnosed. Beau Biden was 46.
The younger Biden, who suffered a series of health problems in recent years, was hospitalized this month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington for then-undisclosed reasons. He suffered a mild stroke in 2010 and three years later underwent surgery at a Texas cancer center to remove what was describe as a small lesion.
He announced last year that he would not seek a third term as attorney general and planned to run for governor in 2016.
“It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life” the vice president said late Saturday in announcing the death of his second child. An infant daughter was killed in a car accident more than four decades ago.
President Barack Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, were grieving alongside the Biden family.
“Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth,” Obama said.
Beau Biden was first diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2013. He underwent surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to remove a lesion and was treated with radiation and chemotherapy before doctors gave him a clean bill of health three months later.
He suffered a recurrence of cancer this spring and was admitted to Walter Reed in May, officials said.
With his father, then Delaware’s senior U.S. senator, at his side in 2006, Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III launched his campaign for attorney general. He promised to reorganize the state Department of Justice to better combat identity theft, Internet stalking by pedophiles, street crime and abuse of the elderly.
During the campaign, Biden sidestepped questions about his ultimate political ambitions.
“Sometimes, it’s not good to look too far down the road,” said Biden, who was critically injured along with his brother in a 1972 car crash that killed their mother and infant sister.
He remained cautious about discussing his long-range plans after suffering the stroke in 2010.
“Having long-term dreams is a good thing … but having a plan has never worked for me, because life always intervenes,” he said.