Joseph Robinette Biden Sr.

Brief Life History of Joseph Robinette

Joseph Robinette Biden Sr., 86, father of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.), died yesterday at the senator's home in the Wilmington suburbs after a long illness. Mr. Biden was born in Baltimore on Nov. 18, 1915. His family moved to Wilmington, where he attended St. Paul's School and Wilmington High School. He graduated from St. Thomas Academy in Scranton. During World War II, Mr. Biden was an executive with a Boston factory that supplied plastic hulls, a special waterproof sealant applied to all U.S. merchant marine ships built during the war. After the war, he co-owned an airport and crop-dusting service on Long Island. In 1953, he moved his family to Claymont, Del. He was a sales manager for several Wilmington automobile dealerships and worked for 15 years in real estate condominium sales in New Castle County and Rehoboth Beach for the Patterson-Schwartz agency. His eldest son, Joseph, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, and will run for his sixth term in November. Mr. Biden is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean Finnegan Biden; three sons: Sen. Biden, James B. and Francis W.; a daughter, Valerie Biden Owens; 10 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. A viewing will be held tomorrow from 5 to 9 p.m. at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Rd. in Greenville, Del. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at the church at 9 a.m. Thursday. Burial will follow in St. Joseph on the Brandywine Cemetery. The family suggests contributions to the Biden Scholarship Fund at Archmere Academy or to First State Hospice of Wilmington. Copyright (c) 2002 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Photos and Memories (11)

Do you know Joseph Robinette? Do you have a story about him that you would like to share? Sign In or Create a FREE Account

Family Time Line

Joseph Robinette Biden Sr.
1915–2002
Catherine Eugenia Finnegan
1917–2010
Marriage: 30 May 1941

Sources (17)

  • Joseph R Biden, "United States Census, 1940"
  • Mr Joseph Biden Sr, "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, Births, and Marriages 1980-2014"
  • Joseph R. Biden, "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950"

Spouse and Children

World Events (8)

1916 · The First woman elected into the US Congress

Jeannette Pickering Rankin became the first woman to hold a federal office position in the House of Representatives, and remains the only woman elected to Congress by Montana.

1917 · The U.S. Army Spruce Production Division

Thousands of soldiers were assigned to the U.S. Army Spruce Production Division to provide wood for airplanes and ships during World War I. Poor working conditions in 1917 caused the men to strike which slowed the logging production in the area. The demands of the strikers were rejected by the lumber companies. As the need was ever-present for lumber during the war, the government stationed soldiers to do the work. Over 230 spruce soldier camps were built and occupied throughout the Pacific Northwest at this time. 

1939 · Nylon Plant in Seaford

In 1939, DuPont opened a nylon plant in Seaford, Delaware. The idea came when in 1935, Dr. Wallace discovered a synthetic fiber.

Name Meaning

English (Hampshire and Surrey): habitational name, probably from Baydon (Wiltshire). The placename may have meant ‘hill associated with a woman named Bēage’ (a personal name derived from Old English bēag ‘ring, bracelet, torque’ + Old English dūn). The surname is pronounced /'baidən/.

History: The surname Biden has a long history in East Meon (Hampshire), recorded there from 1327 until at least the 1840s. — Joe Biden, the 46th president of the US, is of Irish, English, and French descent. His mother’s Jean (Catherine Eugenia) Finnegan entire family tree traces back to Ireland, with some of the ancestors named Blewitt (see Blewett ).

Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

Possible Related Names

Discover Even More

As a nonprofit, we offer free help to those looking to learn the details of their family story.

Create a FREE Account

Search for Another Deceased Ancestor

Share this with your family and friends.