Joe Biden Recalls How Many Times He Proposed To First Lady Jill Before She Said Yes
In an interview with Drew Barrymore that aired last week, President Joe Biden recalled that it took him five times to propose to first lady Jill Biden before she said yes. (You can watch Biden recall his last proposal to the first lady below.)
The president, who has been married to Jill Biden for 45 years, looked back on his fifth and final proposal as the two sat down with the “Drew Barrymore Show” host.
Joe Biden, whose first wife Neilia Hunter Biden and 1-year-old daughter Naomi died in a car crash in 1972, told Barrymore that he had given up on going out with any potential partners before his brother Frank set him up on a blind date with Jill.
“When I went out with her the first time, I knew this was the woman,” said Biden, who added that he’s only fallen in love twice in his life.
He told Barrymore: “I once asked her... when she finally agreed to marry me, ‘How can you marry me knowing how much I loved my first wife?’ She said, ‘Because you loved that deeply, you can love that way again.’”
The president later described his final proposal to the first lady, saying he drove straight to her apartment upon returning from a trip to South Africa. (In her 2019 book “Where the Light Enters,” Jill Biden remembered the order of events differently.)
“I said, ‘I’m asking you one more time.’ And I said, ‘You don’t have to say when, but if ― if you say no, I understand, and that’s it,’” Biden recalled.
“I looked at her, I said, ‘Will you marry me?’ She goes, ‘OK.’ Swear to God.”
The president added that he called up his sister Valerie Biden Owens to ask what led Jill to change her mind, and she told him that the first lady “fell in love” with his sons Beau and Hunter.
Jill Biden, who married Joe in 1977, told Barrymore she had to be certain the marriage was going to work because Biden’s family had already “lost so much” in the 1972 tragedy.
“I knew that it had to work, because they had lost so much and they had to feel secure that this marriage would work,” the first lady said.