Beau Biden, 1969-2015

Tragic news tonight–the passing of Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau.

Joseph R. Biden III, the former attorney general of Delaware and the eldest son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., has died after spending more than a week receiving an unspecified treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his father announced on Saturday. The younger Mr. Biden was 46.

In 2010, Mr. Biden, known as Beau, had suffered what officials described as a mild stroke. Three years later, he was admitted to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after what White House officials described at the time as “an episode of disorientation and weakness.”

Officials said in 2013 that the doctors in Texas had removed a small lesion from his brain.

Mr. Biden’s death marks a second tragic loss for the vice president, whose first wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car accident in 1972 when the station wagon they were driving in to go Christmas shopping was hit by a tractor-trailer. Beau Biden and his brother, Hunter, were also injured in the crash, but both survived.

A popular Democratic politician in his home state who was known to be very close to his father, Mr. Biden served two terms as Delaware’s top law enforcement official before announcing last year that he would not run for a third term so he could make a bid for governor in 2016.

We at the Washington Monthly extend our thoughts and prayers to the Biden family.

Below, Beau Biden at the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.