Neilia Hunter Death, Age, Grandchildren, Funeral, Car Accident

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.

Neilia Hunter: 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

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 their parents Louise and Robert Hunter. She did his studies at a boarding school Penn Hall in Pennsylvania.
  • She actively participated 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: Joseph Beau Biden, Robert Biden, and Naomi Biden.
 Neilia Hunter, died in a car accident in 1972. Her one-year-old daughter also died in the same accident
Neilia Hunter, died in a car accident in 1972. Her one-year-old daughter also died in the same accident

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 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 severe injuries.
  • After two weeks after the accident, Biden was sworn in as the senate at the hospital itself.
  • Neilia and Naomi were taken to the Brandywine Cemetery in Delaware.

Read Also: Neilia Hunter cause of death

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.


  • In his entire college life, Joe Biden had shared a close bond with Neilia and the other Syracuse residents. The bonding later proved beneficial in times of Biden’s campaign related to public office.
  • Kevin Coyne, a next-door neighbor to Biden, said his mother treated Neilia like a daughter. They would frequently visit the house to join their family dinners. Coyne’s mother also sent them sandwiches every Sunday. Neilia also visited their residence for coffee every weekend.
  • The couple became a part of the Coyle family during those years. Joe even warned the boys who used to tease Coyne for his stuttering. They also communicated with the neighborhood children. Paul Shanahan, then a child of the same zone, said that Neilia used to distribute cookies.
  • Bill Christopherson, A former student of Neilia, used to be the paperboy in the same neighborhood. He recalled the hot coffee that the couple served him on cold days. Joe once surprised Neilia with a German shepherd from one of his next-door neighbors Joanne Del Vecchio. They named the pet Senator.
  • Peggy McCarthy, a restaurant owner and a mother of six in 1967, used to run to the Biden couple whenever they saw them. Mrs McCarthy and Neilia used to have baby-related conversations. The talent of accessible communication works as an opportunity for Joe. It helped him to become the youngest US Senator in 1972
  • To increase his winning chances, he needed further votes. He got the votes from the polished neighborhood of New Castle, where Biden was a county council. Neilia was the daughter of the area. Thus, out of 228,000 casts, Joe won by less than 3,000 votes. Joe, in his memoir, wrote that Neilia had embraced all the career changes and chaos of her husband’s professional life. She used to balance everything with grace. They both were excited about the new journey in the political world. But the dream shattered!

The Visit

  • Biden gave a beginning speech at SU, which he formerly attended in May 2009. A year later, a Neilia memorial was set up in SCSD. He participated in another event on the same day, two miles away, at Bellevue Elementary School. The teachers, administrators, and more than 100 kids had sent letters requesting Mr Biden to visit the school. So they saw the vice president, Biden, in the school auditorium on Mother’s Day
  • The excitement was boosted when he ignored the stool and sat on the steps to be closer to the students. He reminisced about the day he visited the school every weekend, traveling 300 miles. He used to play basketball with the kids while waiting for Neilia to come out after school meetings. 
  • He further continued to state the special attachment he has with the school. After the speech session, one of the service members followed him and his brother-in-law into the gymnasium. He met Wojenski. Neilia was her eighth-grade teacher. She also recalled visiting Delaware to assist Neilia in caring for her kids. Neilia was the one who gave Wojenski company when she needed it the most. Biden became emotional. He also stated how he felt at home around her.
Neilia Hunter the visit
The teacher and teacher, many of whom had written to the White House weeks before, requesting a visit.

Black Hole in Biden’s Chest

  • Joe Bien later wrote about the tragedy. The death of his wife and daughter were unbearable. It took years and the support of the family to rebuild a family and life. Biden also described the days he visited the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors in 2012. In his description, he mentioned that he used to feel suicidal at times. 
  • He motivated the other survivors by saying that they should focus on what their loved ones wanted them to do. He further promised that such an initiative would bring smiles to their lips. 

Biden’s Relationship With His Sons to Recover From the Tragedy

  • The December afternoon tragedy had shattered the family of Joe Biden. Biden did not shift to Washington. Instead, he began to travel from Wilmington to DC daily via Amtrak train. For 37 years, he used to travel from Wilmington to Washington four hours a day. It was his daily routine to spend time with his son. 
  • In a speech at Yale University, he mentioned that he returned home every night to give night and morning kisses to his sons as he needed them the most.

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.
  • 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. 

Reference Link

Neilia Hunter- FAQs

Where did Neilia Hunter die?

The first wife of the current president of the US, she traveled with 3 children on the road by its car. but unfortunately, Neilia Hunter died in a brutal car accident, auto crashed at the crossroad with Delaware Route 7 in Wilmington, Delaware, US.

Where is Neilia Hunter Biden buried?

Neilia died in a car accident with her daughter and Neilia was buried with her daughter in the Brandywine Cemetery located in Greenville, Delaware.

Where was Neilia Biden from?

Neilia Hunter was Born in Skaneateles, New York, US (1942-07-28). she was studying as a college sophomore at Syracuse University, she was a teacher and died at the age of 30.

How old was Neilia’s daughter when she died?

12-month-old daughter Naomi was killed in a car accident with her mother Neilia. after their vehicle was broadsided on the way to buy a Christmas tree.

How many children does Neilia Hunter have?

The American teacher Neilia, joe first wife had 3 children but one daughter passed away. Beau and Hunter, her two sons, were both seriously hurt in the collision but survived.

What did Neilia Hunter died from?

In 1972, At the intersection of limestone road, Neilia drove on the tractor-trailer lane and she was stuck with a truck and 1-year daughter also died in the same accident !!

Who was Neilia Hunter?

Neilia was an American educator when she met future president Joe Biden and the first wife of Joe Biden. At that time Biden was a lawyer when he was met with neilia in bar, but after marriage, She died in a car accident.

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