Sen. Joe Biden carries both of his sons, Joseph R. III, left, and Robert H., during an appearance at the Democratic state convention in the summer of 1972. At center is his wife Neilia Biden, who was killed in an auto crash on Dec. 20, 1972. With them are Governor-elect Sherman W. Tribbitt and his wife, Jeanne.
Four-year-old Beau Biden plays while his dad, Joe Biden, is sworn in as the U.S. senator for Delaware, by Senate Secretary Frank Valeo, left, during ceremonies in a Wilmington hospital in January 1973. Beau was injured in an accident that killed his mother and sister. Mrs. Biden's father, Robert Hunter, holds the bible.
Sen. Joe Biden shakes hands with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on March 27, 1979, as Sen. Frank Church watches in Washington, D.C.
Lana Harris / AP
Sen. Joe Biden holds his daughter Ashley while taking a mock oath of office from Vice President George Bush during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in January 1985. Biden's sons Beau and Hunt hold the bible during the ceremony.
Lana Harris / AP
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee hold discussions during a break in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for William Rehnquist, Aug. 1, 1986. From left to right: Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., closest to microphone; Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., standing at center; Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. seated, right; and Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, standing at far right.
George Widman / AP
Sen. Joe Biden is seen with his wife, Jill (who he married in 1977, five years after the death of his first wife) after announcing his candidacy for president, at the train station in Wilmington, Del. on June 10, 1987. He eventually lost the Democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis.
Charles Tasnadi / AP
Democratic presidential candidates pose in front of a replica of the White House during an Independent Action Roast, June 23, 1987, in Washington, D.C. From left are: Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware; Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt; Sen. Albert Gore of Tennessee; Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri; and Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois.
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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden talks with Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and others, after first day of hearings to confirm Bork, on Sept. 1, 1987. Biden chaired the committee from 1987 to 1994, covering two of its most contentious nominations, Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Adelle Starr / AP
Sen. Joe Biden is flanked by his wife Jill and daughter Ashley at a meeting with reporters following his release form Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, May 21, 1988, where he undenwent emergency surgery to treat two aneurysms in his brain.
Greg Gibson / AP
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden points angrily at Clarence Thomas during comments at the end of hearings on Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill, Oct. 12, 1991. Sen. Edward Kennedy is at right.
The White House via AP
Sen. Joe Biden, lower right, rides on Air Force One with President Clinton en route to Bosnia on Dec. 22, 1997. Through frequent visits to the region, Biden brought national attention to the hostilities in the Balkans and urged American intervention to stop the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia. He was one of the first to argue for lifting the arms embargo on the Bosnian Muslims and supporting them with NATO air power.
Charlie Neibergall / AP
Sen. Joe Biden works the crowd, July 29, 2004,at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
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Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, center, walks with Sen. Joe Biden at his left and Curt Weldon, at his right, the head of a U.S. congressional delegation, on May 30, 2005 in Baghdad, Iraq.
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Photographers point their cameras at U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Joe Biden prior to a hearing on the Iraq situation before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jan. 10, 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Susan Walsh / AP
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, right, huddles with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Biden, on Capitol Hill during a committee hearing on Iraq in January 2007.
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Sen. Joe Biden's family, from left to right, grandchildren Finnegan, Naomi, Natalie and his son Beau, sit in the front row at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting at the Capitol Hilton on Feb. 3, 2007 in Washington.
Charles Dharapak / AP
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Joseph Biden, has a word with his mother Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, while signing copies of his new book, "A Promise to Keep," on Aug. 1, 2007, at the National Press Club in Washington.
Kamil Krzaczynski / EPA
Democratic hopefuls, from left to right, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich field questions during the AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum at the Soldier Field in Chicago on Aug. 7, 2007.
Carlos Barria / Reuters
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden signs autographs for supporters using an assistant's back at the University of Northern Iowa during a campaign stop in Cedar Falls on Nov. 27, 2007.
Mark Hirsch / AP
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Joe Biden, rests his head on the shoulder of his wife, Jill, as they stand in a hallway awaiting his introduction for a rally at the UAW Hall in Dubuque on the day of the Iowa caucuses, Jan. 3, 2008.
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At a Capitol Hill hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 08, 2008, Chairman Sen. Joe Biden, asks questions of General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker as they discuss the military and civilian progress in Iraq.
Gerald Herbert / AP
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, rides the Amtrak Acela train from Washington to Wilmington, Del., Sept. 16, 2008. As a senator, Biden rides the train to and from Washington most days.
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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama announces his choice of Sen. Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate during a rally in Springfield, Illinois, on Aug.23, 2008.
Jae C. Hong / AP
President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden celebrate after Obama's acceptance speech at an election night rally in Chicago, Nov. 4, 2008.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
Vice President Joe Biden talks to President Barack Obama during a Cabinet meeting at White House in Washington to discuss the implementation of the economic Recovery Act on June 8, 2009. Biden wound up with oversight of the government's mammoth $787 billion stimulus plan after he wrote Obama a memo about how it should be run.
Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images
President Barack Obama signs the health insurance reform bill as 11-year old Marcelas Owens of Seattle looks on with Vice Presidnet Joe Biden, March 23, 2010 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images
President Barack Obama smiles alongside Vice President Joe Biden before signing the health care insurance overhaul legislation during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. The vice president's microphone captured him telling the president, "... This is a big f------ deal." Then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted in response, "And yes Mr. Vice President, you're right."
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Vice President Joe Biden talks about new federal programs aimed at promoting home energy efficiency retrofitting during a Middle Class Task Force event with, from left to right, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Nov. 9, 2010 in Washington.
The White House via Getty Images
Left to right, President Barack Obama,National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Leon Panetta, Director of the CIA, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Vice President Joe Biden attend a meeting in the Situation Room on May 1, 2012 in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama's national security team held a series of meeting to discusss Osama bin Laden.
Steven Mantilla / Pool via AP
Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders and Tom Perriello applaud Vice President Joe Biden at the Institute for Advanced Research and Learning in Danville, Va., on Aug. 14, 2012. During the speech, Biden discussed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposals on Wall Street reform saying, "(Romney) is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y'all back in chains." He was criticized for his choice of words which many took to imply racial overtones and the chains of slavery.