WASHINGTON -- An outpouring of support for the Biden family flowed Sunday as news Beau Biden, son of the vice president, died Saturday of brain cancer. A dedicated public servant, Biden was described both by those who knew him and his father as a family-centric man who was loyal and loved by all.
“Beau’s loss is crushing for everyone lucky enough to have known him and the whole Biden family, because you can’t know them without feeling their overwhelming love for each other -- for family,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. Kerry served in the Senate with Joe Biden for decades. “For the Bidens, being there for each other was and is everything. Any real conversation with Joe was about family and how much he and Jill loved their children and grandchildren. Life for them is family.”
The White House canceled a reception at the Ford Theater scheduled for Sunday afternoon out of respect for the Biden family. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Biden family at their Washington, D.C. residences on Sunday afternoon. Beau Biden, who was 46, served two terms as the Delaware attorney general and had left office after becoming sick in 2013. At the time, he attributed his decision to leave office to a desire to run for governor in 2016. Biden declined an opportunity to replace his father in the Senate, opting to stay in Delaware instead.
Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn, who succeeded Beau Biden in office, described a “heartache” over the death. "Our kids were about the same age, and more than anyone else I knew in politics, he appreciated the importance of taking care of his family before worrying about work or elections,” Denn said. “It is a great loss to the state, but more importantly a crushing loss for his family, which needs all of our support."
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, said his thoughts and prayers are with the Biden family. "No parent should have to suffer the loss of a child, and no loss is deeper than that of a loved one,” Sanders said in a statement. “Jane and I send our condolences to the Bidens during this difficult time."
North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, highlighted Beau Biden's time in the National Guard. "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Beau Biden. My prayers are with the vice president and his family in this heartbreaking time,” Burr said. “Beau served his country with distinction. I had known of Beau's fight against cancer but I did not realize that it would take his life so soon. I know his family will find peace in the life he lived."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was heartbroken by the news of his death. “Beau Biden represented the best of America,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Time and again, he showed the quality of his character, the strength of his intellect, and the depth of his dedication to leave a better world for his two children.”
Sincere condolences to @VP Biden, Jill, & their entire family on the loss of Beau. My thoughts & prayers are with you. -jb
â€” Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) May 31, 2015
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, also served with Joe Biden in the Senate. “Beau Biden served his country honorably in Iraq and his home state of Delaware with distinction as attorney general,” Casey said in a statement. “As attorney general, he fought tirelessly to protect children.”