Jill Biden to be America's First First Lady to Keep Her Paying Job While Being at White House

File photo of Jill Biden with husband Joe Biden.

File photo of Jill Biden with husband Joe Biden.

Jill Biden is an English professor and is likely to keep her day job after shifting to the White House.


Buzz Staff

First a second lady and now the First Lady, US President elect Joe Biden's wife Jill Biden is all set to stand with her husband as he vows to 'heal America'. Jill is no stranger to the glare of the political spotlight. Her husband has been a Washington insider since they wed in 1977, and she was America's second lady for eight years, from 2009 to 2017.

But now that Joe Biden has won the White House, his 69-year-old wife will have the opportunity to push the role of first lady into the 21st century -- by keeping her full-time job as a professor. Jill is an English professor and is likely to keep her day job after shifting to the White House. With this, he will be the first FLOTUS in the role’s 231-year history to hold on to her paying job while serving as the first lady.

"Most American women have both a work life and a family life, but first ladies have never been allowed to do so," said Katherine Jellison, a history professor at Ohio University.

"Maybe the time has come, however, when more Americans will feel comfortable with a first lady who isn't on-call at the White House 24/7."

Of course, Biden for years has been a trusted advisor to her 77-year-old husband, who defeated incumbent President Donald Trump.

As first lady, she is expected to work on education issues and relaunch Joining Forces, a mission to rally around military families that she and Michelle Obama started in 2011.

But she is also a professor, a mother, a grandmother and the rock that kept Biden going after tragedy struck nearly five decades ago.

'Damn Tough and Loyal'

In 1972, Joe Biden faced the unthinkable -- his young wife and daughter were killed in a car crash, and he was left alone to raise his two young sons, both injured in the accident.

Enter Jill Jacobs, who was born in 1951 and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Her father rose up the ranks in banking from teller to president, and her mom was a homemaker.

Jill was in the process of divorcing her first husband when she met Biden, a widower who was commuting daily from Delaware to Washington, where he served as a US senator.

The couple wed in 1977, and she became "Mom" to his sons Hunter and Beau. The Bidens have a daughter, Ashley, who was born in 1981.

While raising her family, Biden also earned two Master's degrees. She would eventually earn a doctorate in education, and now teaches at Northern Virginia Community College.

Since then, the couple has been through two failed presidential runs, his eight years as vice president, the death of Beau Biden after a battle with cancer -- and now, a successful White House campaign.

"She put us back together," Biden said in a video shown in August during the Democratic National Convention, as he described Jill's impact on the tragedy-scarred family.

"She is so damn tough and loyal."

'Small Acts of Compassion'

Biden assumed the role of second lady in 2009 when her husband became Barack Obama's vice president, participating in high-profile events with first lady Michelle and developing a comfortable public speaking style.

(With agency inputs)

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