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Former vice president Joseph Biden has a new title: president-elect. Four excruciatingly anxious days after Election Day, Biden cinched the presidency after winning Pennsylvania to become the 46th president of the United States. His victory makes President Donald Trump a one-term president.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” President-elect Biden said in a statement. “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans –– whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
The president-elect took an early lead in the electoral college vote on Election Night, leading Trump 236-213. Biden continued to widen his lead on Wednesday when he won Wisconsin and Michigan. Those victories placed him within six electoral votes of the White House.
In response, Trump’s campaign and state GOP parties began filing lawsuits in a bid to stop the vote count. However, many of those lawsuits were quickly tossed out after the campaign failed to provide any sufficient evidence of voter fraud.
On Thursday, Biden continued to hold on to his lead in Nevada. Mail-in vote counts in the key battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania steadily closed the gap between Trump and Biden. By Friday, Biden managed to overturn Trump’s gains to take a slight lead.
Several news outlets declared Biden the winner early on Friday, but the Associated Press did not call the election until early on Saturday morning when it officially gave him the victory in Pennsylvania.
Biden won the presidency with 284 electoral votes and an astonishing 74,847,834 in the popular vote. He surpassed the voting numbers of President Barack Obama –– who he served under as vice president –– to have more votes than any candidate in U.S. history.
President-elect Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president on January 20, 2021.
Biden’s Journey From the U.S. Senate to the White House
Biden began his political career in 1970, after the young lawyer became active in the Democratic Party in Delaware. He was elected to the New Castle County Council and as a council member, he began his own law firm.
Just two years after being elected council member, a 29-year-old Biden was convinced to run against incumbent Republican Sen. J. Caleb Boggs. Biden ran a fairly grassroots campaign led by his family members and pulled one of the biggest upsets of his political career, roundly defeating Boggs by a mere 3,000 votes, Slate reported.
Because of his age, Biden would have to wait weeks to be officially eligible to serve in the Senate. The victory launched a 36-year career in the Senate.
Sadly his victory in the Senate was marred by a tremendous family tragedy, when his wife and three children were involved in a tragic car accident. His wife and young daughter, Naomi, were killed and his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were severely injured.
“I began to understand how despair led people to just cash in; how suicide wasn’t just an option but a rational option … I felt God had played a horrible trick on me, and I was angry,” he recalled, according to Biography.com.
Nevertheless, he kept his commitment to serve in the Senate and took the oath for office from his sons’ hospital room. In order to dedicate as much time as possible to his sons, he opted to continue living in Delaware and commuted every day from Washington D.C. by Amtrak.
Throughout his Senate career, Biden ran for president twice –– in 1987 and 2007. He remained in the Senate until he became vice president under President Barack Obama in 2009. The two would remain in the White House for two full terms.
Many expected Biden to run again during the 2016 election, but a personal loss in 2015 deterred those plans. Biden’s eldest son, Beau, died at the age of 46 after battling brain cancer on May 30, 2015. Months later, Biden announced he would not seek a bid for the White House.
In April 2019, Biden announced that he would run for president in 2020. He entered a crowded and diverse Democratic field and was often attacked by his track record. However, he became the presumptive Democratic nominee in April 2020 when Senator Bernie Sanders ended his bid.
Biden named Senator Kamala Harris, who had criticized his track record during the first Democratic primary debate, as his running mate in August. The two resoundingly defeated President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence just four months later.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Biden hasn't officially won Georgia. While he is ahead, he has not be declared the winner. A previous version of this story said that President-elect won Pennsylvania and Georgia.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a senior writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.