Jill Biden: Profile of academic who will be the next US first lady
In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, writer-editor Joseph Epstein urged incoming First Lady Jill Biden to stop using the ‘Dr’ title with her name. Epstein opened his piece by addressing Biden as: “Madame First Lady — Mrs Biden — Jill — kiddo”. The piece led to massive outrage on social media with some calling it sexist and misogynistic. But it served as a reminder for Jill Biden: of the difficult position that she and women in politics find themselves in.
Jill Jacobs was born in June 1951 in New Jersey and grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Willow Grove. Prior to marrying Joe Biden, she was married to former college football player Bill Stevenson. Jill was introduced to Joe through his brother three years after he lost his first wife and his one-year-old daughter in a car accident in 1972. At that time, Joe Biden was a senator, while she was still in college. The couple married in New York city in 1977 and have a daughter together, Ashley who was born in 1981.
Jill spent decades working as a teacher. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree and has two master's degrees, and a doctorate of education from the University of Delaware. She has taught at a community college, at a public high school and at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. Even while her husband served as vice-president in the Obama administration, Mrs Biden was professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College which made her the first Second Lady to hold a paying job during her husband’s tenure. She plans to do the same for the next four years as well.
Years as 'Second Lady'
Mrs Biden previously held the title of 'Second Lady' while her husband served as vice-president from 2009 to 2017. Her work during this period included promoting community colleges, advocating for military families and raising awareness about breast cancer prevention. She also launched the joining forces initiative with First Lady Michelle Obama which was aimed at helping military veterans and their families’ access education programmes and employment opportunities.