Joe Biden met his first wife, Neilia Hunter, after sneaking into a private beach club during his college spring break in Nassau, the Bahamas. The two started going steady immediately. “I fell ass over tin cup in love — at first sight,” Biden colorfully wrote in his memoir. When he got home to Delaware, he told his sister Valerie: “I met the girl I’m going to marry.”
As for Neilia, she phoned a roommate from Syracuse University, Bobbie Greene. “She called me so excited,” Greene later reported, according to Jules Witcover’s biography Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption. “She told me all about him,” Greene continued. “Neilia asked me, ‘Do you know what he’s going to be?’ ‘No, what?’ I asked. “‘He’s going to be a senator by age thirty and president of the United States!’ And she never had any doubt.”
Getting elected senator “by age thirty” was a tall order, but Joe Biden indeed pulled it off, unseating incumbent Republican Cale Boggs in a campaign Biden ran at age 29. Biden turned 30 the month he won that race (the minimum age for a senator per the Constitution) but Neilia died in a car accident the following month, before she could see him sworn in. As for the second part of Neilia’s prophecy, we’re about to see whether that finally comes true, 48 years after her death.
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