America donned a blue heart yesterday as its citizens gathered in the streets to celebrate Joe Biden’s win as the next President of the United States. While the limelight is rightfully on the President-elect, many eyes and ears are turning towards his first line of support, a.k.a. his beloved wife Jill Biden. A faithful beacon of light for Joe throughout his long political career, Jill has always had her husband’s back, and even served as a reliable Second Lady of the US when Joe took on the Vice Presidency back in 2009.
Want to get to know more about the First Lady-designate before the Bidens run the White House next year? Below, we round up a few facts you might want to learn about Jill Jacobs Biden.
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She’s an educator.
Known to her students as Dr. Jill Biden, the 69-year-old holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware, and two master's degrees from West Chester University and Villanova University. She’s currently an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College. “Teaching is not what I do. It's who I am,” she once tweeted last August.
She’ll become the first FLOTUS to have a full-time job.
Jill is set to make history as the first-ever first lady to maintain a full-time job while in the office. Ahead of her husband’s win yesterday, the educator had already expressed her plan to continue on teaching should Joe win the elections. "If we get to the White House, I'm going to continue to teach," said Jill during an interview with CBS last August. "It's important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession."
She met Joe during a blind date.
Joe and Jill have been married for 43 years. They, of course, have Joe’s brother, Frank Biden, to thank for their meeting. According to news reports, Frank introduced his 33-year-old brother to Jill, who was 24 years old at the time, before the two went out on a movie date.
"I was a senior, and I had been dating guys in jeans and clogs and T-shirts, he came to the door and he had a sport coat and loafers, and I thought, 'God, this is never going to work, not in a million years,” she recalled for Vogue. "He was nine years older than I am! But we went out to see A Man and a Woman at the movie theater in Philadelphia, and we really hit it off. When we came home... he shook my hand good night. I went upstairs and called my mother at 1:00 a.m. and said, 'Mom, I finally met a gentleman.'"
She’s an advocate for education and military families.
During her term between 2009 to 2016 as the Second Lady of the United States, Jill has always been vocal about the importance of education, and providing for the needs of military families. As the next first lady, she hopes to continue championing for these initiatives. "Education would be right up there—and military families. I'd travel all over this country trying to get free community college," she said, according to CNBC, when asked of her plans should she be the next FLOTUS. “We need good reading programs, and we need equity in schools. We’re competing in this global market, and the US’ standing has got to get better.”
She has two pet dogs with Joe.
German shepherds, Champ and Major, who are now humurously being pegged as the first dogs-elect, will also be returning to the White House along with the rest of Joe and Jill's family. Much like his owner Jill, Major, who was adopted by the couple from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018, is also set to make history, this time as as the first-ever shelter dog to reside in the White House.
She likes to keep her identity low-key.
In an interview with Vogue, Jill revealed that she had never been one to get her head caught up in all the fanfare. Whether as a Senator’s wife or the Second Lady, she would always prefer to keep her political persona low-key. In fact, as a professor in college, she would regularly ask her Secret Service to dress like college students and sit in the hallway with laptops to disguise themselves.
“At Delaware Tech, they simply did not know that she was Senator Biden’s wife,” said Mary Doody, a former assistant dean at the school. “She kept it under wraps. And when she got her doctorate she got it under ‘Jacobs’; she didn’t use Biden, because she has just always wanted to be her own person and for the students to know her as a teacher and not as the wife of a senator. She doesn’t need that affirmation. It’s just who she is.”
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She’s a prankster.
You’ll be glad to know that Jill isn’t all just business. As revealed by her granddaughter Naomi Biden, the next FLOTUS is quite the prankster in the family. “She's very mischievous. When she goes on a run, sometimes she'll find, like, a dead snake and she'll pick it up and put it in a bag, and she'll use it to scare someone,” said Naomi in a video for the Democratic National Convention.