Neilia Hunter

American teacher and Joe Biden’s first wife, Neilia Hunter, died in a car accident in 1972. Her one-year-old daughter also died in the same accident, however, the two sons got severe injuries but survived. She came to be known as the “Brain” during the successful Delaware Senate Campaign in 1972.

The personality of Neilia Along with Body Measurement 

She had a height of 5 feet 5 inches, and her weight was 55kg. Neilia had blonde hair and brown eyes. She was soft-spoken and beautiful personality. 

Neilia Hunter’s Overview

  • Birth Name: Neilia Hunter
  • Age: 30
  • Date of Birth: July 28, 1942
  • Place of Birth: Skaneateles, New York, US
  • Date of Death: December 18, 1972
  • Place of Death: Wilmington, Delaware, US
  • Nationality: American
  • Occupation: Teacher
  • Father: Louise Hunter
  • Mother: Robert Hunter
  • Spouse: Joe Biden
  • Children: Joseph Robinette “Beau”, Robert Hunter and Naomi Christina “Amy”
  • Grandchildren: Natalie, Hunter

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Early Life and Career

  • Her mother was Louise, and her father was Rober Hunter. Neilia was the oldest of her siblings, John and Michael. Apart from this, we do not have any information about her family. This is also because she didn’t talk much about her family. 
  • Neilia was born in 1942 to the parents Louise and Robert Hunter. She did his studies at a boarding school Penn Hall in Pennsylvania.
  • She was an active participant in French Club, Student Council, Hockey and Swimming.
  • Later after graduating from school she attended Syracuse University and also became a teacher at Syracuse City School District. She also served as a school teacher at Bellevue Academy.

Marriage and Family

  • Biden and Neilia met in Nassau, Bahamas after Biden moved to Syracuse to get admitted to Law School.
  • Biden took admitted to law school where Neilia was already studying.
  • Soon after this, the couple married each other on 27 August 1966.
  • Biden’s wife gave birth to three children: Joshep‘ Beau’ Biden, Robert Biden and Naomi Biden.

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Religious Belief of Neilia

Neilia and Biden came from different religious backgrounds. Biden is Catholic, and Neilia was brought up as Presbyterian. She was raised Republican by her parents.

How Neilia Helped Biden in His Political campaign?

Neilia and Biden moved to Wilmington, Delaware, after their marriage. Here, Biden worked as a lawyer and served on the New Castle Country Council. To become the junior U.S. senator from Delaware against J. Caleb Boggs, Biden takes the help of Neilia. It was said, Neilia was the “brain” behind her campaign. She helped her husband in her political work even though she was only a teacher.

Neilia Hunter Grandchildren

Neilia Hunter with Joe Biden
Neilia Hunter with Joe Biden

Neilia Hunter had three children in total one daughter and two sons. Naomi Biden, Beau Biden and Hunter Biden, respectively. Naomi died with Neilia, and the remaining two boys remain alive. Beau has Natalie Biden and Robert Biden as his children. However, Hunter Biden has her first wife’s three daughters, Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy.

Neilia Hunter’s Death

  • After Biden got elected as a senator, on December 18, 1972, Neilia Hunter was on a drive with her children in Hockessin, Delaware.
  • At the intersection of Limestone Road, Neilia drove on the tractor-trailer lane when she pulled out just in front of a trailer since she was not aware of the oncoming truck.
  • Neilia and her three children were rushed to the Wilmington General Hospital.
  • Neilia and her daughter, Naomi were declared dead on arrival while the two sons suffered serious injuries.
  • After two weeks of the accident, Biden was sworn as the senate at the hospital itself.
  • Neilia and Naomi were taken to the Brandywine Cemetery in Delaware.

How Her Death Transformed Biden’s Politics

  • Death of Neilia Biden greatly impacted the way Joe Biden did his politics.
  • From his way of speaking to his views everything changed completely.
  • Biden relied on the tragedies he faced to talk to the voters who have faced a similar loss in their lives.

Her Legacy

  • Talking about his wife at Yale University in 2015, Joe Biden said “The incredible bond I have with my children is the gift I’m not sure I would have had, had I not been through what I went through. But by focusing on my sons, I found my redemption”.
  • Neilia Hunter Biden Park located in New Castle County, Delaware is built in memory of Neilia Biden.
  • Cayuga Community College of Auburn confers Neilia Hunter Biden Award annually to two students of the college, one is for English literature and the other for journalism.
  • At Bellevue Elementary School, her memorial plaque was elected.

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Social Media

When she was alive, she was not active on social media like Instagram, Twitter, etc. She was a simple woman who revolved around her work (teaching) and being a housewife.


Neilia met Joe when she was at the University of Syracuse. Firstly, they became a couple, and then they married each other. Although we know her with her husband, she has her own identity. It was said that every student wants her in thor class. She was a very good teacher and easily connected with her students. 

Reference Link

Neilia Hunter- FAQs

Where did Neilia Hunter died?

The first wife of the current president of the US, Neilia Hunter died in a brutal car accident in Wilmington, Delaware, US.

Where is Neilia Hunter Biden buried?

Neilia and her daughter was buried in the Brandywine Cemetery located in Greenville, Delaware.

How old is Neilia?

Neilia was 30 years old at the time of her death.

Where was Neilia Biden from?

Neilia was born in Skaneateles, New York, US.

How old Neilia daughter when she died?

Neilia’s daughter was just one year old when she died in the accident.

How many children does Neilia Hunter have?

The couple were the parents to three children, a daughter and two sons.

What did Neilia Hunter die from?

In 1972, she had an accident, and she died. Her year daughter also died with her.

Who was Neilia Hunter?

She was an American teacher and the first wife of Joe Biden. She died in a car accident. 

Did Joe and Jill Biden get married in the Church?

On June 17, 1977, Joe and Jill were married at a Chapel at the United Nations in New York City by a Catholic priest. 

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