Beau Biden dies at age 46

(5/30/2015) Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden has died at age 46 after battling brain cancer.

The announcement was made in a statement tonight from his father, Vice President Joe Biden.

Gov. Jack Markell directed that flags be flown at half staff.

Statement from Vice President Joe Biden

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 entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.

Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.

More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.

In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.

Statement from President Barack Obama

Michelle and I are grieving tonight.  Beau Biden was a friend of ours.  His beloved family – Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter – are friends of ours.  And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get.

Beau took after Joe.  He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school.  He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s Attorney General.  Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched – and he lives on in their hearts.

But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family.

Just like his dad.

Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known.  He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family.  It’s one of the things we love about him.  And it is a testament to Joe and Jill – to who they are – that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.

The Bidens have more family than they know.  In the Delaware they love.  In the Senate Joe reveres.  Across this country that he has served for more than forty years.  And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight – for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan.

“I have believed the best of every man,” wrote the poet William Butler Yeats, “And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.”

Beau Biden believed the best of us all.  For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.

Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth.

Statement from Gov. Jack Markell

Carla and I are heartbroken for Hallie, his children, his parents, his siblings, and the entire Biden family. Beau spent his entire career in the service of his country and his state. He was an outstanding Attorney General, lawyer, soldier, and father. I feel privileged to have served with him and Delaware is a better place thanks to him.

Beau was also a friend. He was unfailingly interested in the well being of Carla, my kids and my extended family. My entire family is shattered by his death.

More reaction

  • Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr.: “The Delaware Judiciary wishes to express its deepest condolences to the Biden family on the loss of Beau. We were privileged to get to know Beau well during his service as our State’s Attorney General. He is known universally in our ranks for treating everyone he met with respect and courtesy, being a great listener, and for the evident love and devotion he had for his family. We honor and respect his commitment to our state and nation, and we hope that his family can find comfort in each other during this very sad time.”
  • New Castle County Council: “The members of the New Castle County Council express their deepest sympathies to the entire Biden family upon the passing of their beloved father, son, husband, brother and public servant, Beau. Whereas Beau’s father, Vice President Joseph Biden, is a former New Castle County Councilman the members of this Council feel as they have lost one of their own family. All members agree that Beau was a man that demonstrated both honor and dignity in his professional life and illustrated to all that knew him his love for his family and friends. Heaven is now welcoming one of our best.”
  • Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams: “My family and I are deeply saddened  by the passing of Beau, and truly anguished over the great loss for his wife, Hallie; his two children, Natalie and Hunter; parents, siblings and the entire State of Delaware. As a dedicated Attorney General and soldier, Beau devoted his career to proudly serving his country and home state. It was an honor to serve alongside him as he worked tirelessly to fight for the powerless and protect the most vulnerable, our children. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Beau was a great father, husband, son and brother. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of those whose lives he may touched.”
  • Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory: “I join with my Council colleagues and with citizens in Wilmington and throughout our State in expressing great sadness concerning the passing of Beau Biden. On behalf of our City Council Members and Council staff, I express condolences to Hallie and the children, to Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden, the entire Biden family and Beau’s many friends. He served his state and country with distinction. Beau cared deeply about his fellow Delawareans and we are grateful for his record of public service. Above all, we will remember him for being a good person who was devoted to his family.”