Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has served in the United States Senate since January 1973. Now the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Judiciary Committee, he has worked on a variety of issues ranging from international relations and arms control to crime prevention and drug control.
In the Senate, Biden served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995, and ranking member from 1995 to 1997. He is now the chairman on the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and co-chairs the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.
Biden is a leader on anti-crime and drug policy. He has authored every major piece of crime legislation this decade, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which was signed into law in 1994. The Act includes his Violence Against Women Act, the first comprehensive law to address gender-based crimes. Biden also wrote the law creating the nation's "drug czar," which mandates a national drug control policy. He continues to work to control new drugs such as Ketamine and Rohypnol.
A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1975, he is also chairman of the European Affairs Subcommittee. Biden is co-chairman of the Senate NATO Observer Group, vice chairman of the Senate Delegation to the North Atlantic Assembly, and co-chairman of the Senate National Security Working Group.
Biden is widely recognized as one of the Senate's leading foreign policy experts, and he has published numerous editorials and articles, nationally and internationally, on international relations. Biden was among the first to predict the collapse of communism and to call for a comprehensive redefinition of American foreign policy to fit the post-Cold War world. In the spring of 1993, Senator Biden called for active American and Western leadership to contain the war and to support the Bosnian government with air power and military supplies.
In 1997, Senator Biden led the successful effort in the Senate to approve ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention and in 1998 led the effort to expand NATO. He also has been a forceful advocate for arms control agreements and has authored legislation to curb the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In May 1999, Biden became the youngest Senator ever to cast 10,000 votes in the Senate.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Biden practiced law in Wilmington, Delaware, and served on the New Castle County Council from 1970 to 1972. Since 1991, Biden has been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar in constitutional law.
Senator Biden grew up in New Castle County, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, and from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1968.
Senator Biden lives in Wilmington, Delaware and is married to the former Jill Jacobs. They have three children.