President Biden Is Turning 80. Experts Say Age Is More Than a Number.
When Joe Biden’s daughter, Hunter, turns 80, the former vice president will get to celebrate the milestone in two ways: once by being the oldest major party nominee since the civil war (along with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.) And as the oldest sitting president in US history — as well as the only one to be elected twice — he will be able to say he’s the oldest American president, as well as the oldest president-elect in US history, since the 19th century.
Age is of course a key driver of success and well-being in old age, and for most people, it is a number. But for some, like Biden, it can be more than that, as he shows.
Biden, at age 76, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, the youngest member and longest-serving in the history of the upper chamber (his term started in January, 1973). A month after assuming his seat, he was shot in the head by the attacker in the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Chicago who fired a pistol through a window at his head. The incident was the first of many to befall the former vice president.
Then in 1980, when his wife, Jill, was diagnosed with brain cancer, he underwent an operation to remove a brain tumor in an attempt to restore the brain function. Despite that, he was admitted to the hospital and the operation was postponed.
In 1984, after a period of remission since the operation, Jill Biden was diagnosed with leukemia with an almost 100% risk of death. Despite a second operation to remove the tumor, she died six years later.
In 2014, Biden was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent extensive chemotherapy.
Then, in December 2015, Biden’s son Beau died at the age of 46 of a heroin overdose at a treatment center in Kentucky. In July 2016, just weeks after his own death, Biden received news that Jill’s brain tumor had returned, but after she died Biden continued to campaign and make public appearances