Joe Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1942 but moved with his family to Delaware in 1953 after Scranton fell on hard times. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965 with a double major in history and political science. He then received his JD from Syracuse University in 1968 and was admitted to the Delaware bar in 1969. After serving as a public defender, he won his first race for office on the New Castle County Council in 1969 in a typically Republican district on a platform that included support for public housing.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon convinced incumbent Republican J. Caleb Boggs to hold off on retiring from his U.S. Senate seat. Biden entered the race and was given no chance of winning. With support from the AFL-CIO, Biden's platform of withdrawing from Vietnam, environmental issues and civil rights upset Boggs and kicked off a long career of public service in the Senate. Weeks after the election, tragedy struck Biden as his wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident that left his two sons severely injured.
In the Senate, Biden passed numerous landmark bills to increase protections for vulnerable communities such as women & children. He also introduced what is widely recognized as the first bill addressing the issue of climate change.
Biden was chosen as Barack Obama's running mate in the 2008 Presidential Election, a move that President Obama later said was “one of the best decisions I ever made.” As Vice President, Biden played an important role in reaching across the aisle to gain support for the Affordable Care Act, and also helped to secure the Paris Climate Agreement. Biden also took a big step in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, coming out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012.
In 2016, Biden was struck by tragedy again, losing his son Beau to brain cancer. President Obama awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom a year later, citing his faith in his fellow Americans, his love of country and his lifetime of public service.
Now, Vice President Biden is answering his nation's call again, running for president to restore the leadership that we have been sorely lacking the past four years, as well as to build a more just America for those who have been left behind so that we more truly live up to our founding ideals of equality and justice for all.
The child of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964. Born in the heat of the Civil Rights movement, Harris was brought to protests in a stroller by her parents, and was bussed to attend a primary school in a richer area as a part of California's effort to desegregate schools. She attended the historically black Howard University in Washington D.C. for her undergraduate studies, graduating in 1986 with a double-major in political science and economics. She then returned to California for law school, receiving her JD in 1989 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as president of the Black Law Students Association.
After serving as an assistant district attorney, in 2003 she ran for District Attorney of San Francisco on a platform of racial and economic justice, contending that the incumbent failed to protect poor and minority residents from gun violence and that he was too willing to accept plea bargains in domestic violence cases.
Harris won the race, and from her campaign to her tenure, she made it a point to challenge negative stereotypes of black women. As DA, she created an initiative to give first-offense drug offenders the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and find a job. She also created a unit within the District Attorney's office to combat environmental crimes, prosecuting corporations for violations such as dumping toxic waste in poor neighborhoods.
Harris continued her meteoric rise through the ranks when she was elected as just the second Black woman elected to the United States Senate, winning the seat vacated by Barbara Boxer's retirement. One of her first acts as a Senator was to oppose Donald Trump's executive order banning the entry of citizens from many Muslim-majority countries into the US. She became well known for holding Trump appointees and officials to account.
On August 11, 2020 Joe Biden selected Senator Harris as his running mate for the 2020 Presidential Election.