Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s eldest son and the former attorney general of Delaware, has died of brain cancer, his family announced late Saturday.
“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words,” according to a family statement released from the vice president’s office. “We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us.”
Joseph R. Biden III, who went by the name Beau, had been been hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland since May 20.
The statement said Beau Biden died after “he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.” He was 46. He is survived by his wife, Hallie, and two children, Natalie and Hunter.
“In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known,” the family statement read.
Beau Biden served two terms as attorney general until January 2015. He announced that he would not run for a third term so he could possibly run for governor in 2016. He had been working at the Wilmington, Delaware law firm Grant & Eisenhofer.
Prior to that, he served in Iraq for one year as a captain with the Delaware Army National Guard and was awarded the Bronze Star. He worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia .
In 2010, Beau Biden suffered a mild stroke. In 2013, he was admitted to a Houston hospital specializng in cancer treatment after he felt disorientated and weak. He was diagnosed with a brain lesion and underwent surgery.
The death of Joe Biden’s eldest son comes more than four decades after the vice president’s first wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car accident in 1972. Beau Biden and his brother, Hunter, were injured in the crash, but survived.
In a statement, President Barack Obama said First Lady Michelle Obama said they were grieving over the death of their friend, a man who took after his father.
“For all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family,” Obama said in the statement. “Just like his dad.”
The Obamas said the Bidens have more family than they know, grieving for them from all across the nation.
“In the Delaware they love. In the Senate Joe reveres. Across this country that he has served for more than forty years,” Obama said. “And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight – for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan.”