May 30, 2015 at 11:43 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Beau Biden dies of brain cancer
Beau Biden, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade, gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, HB 75, marriage equality

Then-Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden spoke at a 2013 press conference in Wilmington, Del., where state Rep. Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) formally announced the introduction of a same-sex marriage bill. Beau Biden died of brain cancer on May 30, 2015. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, died on Saturday of brain cancer at the age of 46.

The New York Times reported that Biden — whose father is Vice President Joe Biden — passed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in D.C. where he had been for more than a week.

“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words,” said Joe Biden in a statement he issued through his office. “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.”

President Obama in a statement said he and first lady Michelle Obama are “grieving tonight.”

“Beau Biden was a friend of ours,” said the president. “His beloved family — Hallie, Natalie and Hunter — are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get.”

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, on Feb. 3, 1969, Beau Biden and his brother, Hunter Biden, were seriously injured in a 1972 car accident that killed his mother and younger sister.

Beau Biden was a member of the Delaware Army National Guard when voters elected him attorney general in 2006. He and his unit were on deployment in Iraq from 2008-2009.

Beau Biden was a vocal supporter of marriage rights for same-sex couples — and he attended one of the first gay weddings that took place in Delaware once the state’s same-sex marriage law took effect on July 1, 2013. Beau Biden was also among the state attorneys generals who filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court that argued the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 are unconstitutional.

“I know that momentum is on our side on this,” Beau Biden told the Washington Blade during a 2013 interview before state Rep. Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) formally introduced the same-sex marriage bill.

Beau Biden also backed a statewide transgender rights bill that took effect in June 2013.

“Our state is stronger and better because of the example he set and the change he made,” wrote Sarah McBride, an LGBT advocate who played a leading role in securing passage of Delaware’s trans rights bill, on her Facebook page. “He was an amazing person, a devoted father, and an exemplary son. My thoughts are with his wonderful children, his beautiful wife Hallie, his siblings Hunter and Ashley, and his parents Joe and Jill. I’ve known few people in politics so genuine and compassionate.”

Beau Biden last year announced he would not seek re-election as attorney general in order to run for governor.

ABC News reported that he underwent radiation and chemotherapy in 2013 after a small legion was removed from his brain. He was admitted to Walter Reed earlier this month after doctors discovered the cancer had returned.

“Beau spent his entire career in the service of his country and his state,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell in a statement. “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.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

1 Comment
  • [“Beau Biden was also among the state attorneys generals who filed amicus
    briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court that argued the Defense of Marriage
    Act and California’s Proposition 8 are constitutional.” I think you meant “unconstitutional.”] What a heart-breaking loss. I’m so sorry for the whole family. By all accounts, he was a wonderful son. They’re all in my prayers today. May he rest in peace.

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.