Biden Says He Thought About Jumping From Delaware Memorial Bridge After 1972 Deaths of Wife and Daughter

Biden sat down with Howard Stern for an extensive interview touching on a particularly difficult period in his life.

A man in a suit stepping out from a doorway, likely a high-profile figure
Image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla
A man in a suit stepping out from a doorway, likely a high-profile figure

In a new interview with Howard Stern, Joe Biden looks back on thinking "maybe I’ll just go to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and jump" following the devastating deaths of his wife and infant daughter in 1972.

Neilia Hunter, who married Biden in 1966, was 30 years old when she was killed in a car crash. At the time of the crash, the couple’s children were also in the car. While Beau and Hunter both survived, Naomi, just over a year old, tragically died.

Asked by Stern about losing "the love of your life" and their daughter in an interview airing Friday, Biden explained how the experience made him understand that one needn’t "be crazy" to consider death by suicide.

"I actually thought about, you don’t have to be crazy to commit suicide," Biden told Stern, as heard in this clip of the SiriusXM interview shared by TMZ. "If you’ve been to the top of the mountain, you think it’s never gonna be there again. And just a brief moment, I thought maybe I’ll just go to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and jump. But I had two kids. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t like, 'I’ve gotta commit suicide.' It was like, you’ve been to the top of the mountain and it’s never gonna happen again. You’re never gonna be okay."

Biden, who doesn’t drink, also said he pondered turning to alcohol during this period of his life.

"I could never bring myself to do it," he added.

Listen to more from the Stern talk here.

Howard Stern doing live in-depth interview now with President Biden. (SiriusXM)

— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 26, 2024

In December 2022, Biden and his family marked the 50th anniversary of Neilia and Naomi's deaths with a private memorial service. Biden, who also credited sons Beau (who later died of brain cancer) and Hunter as being instrumental in his subsequent marriage to Jill Jacobs, has spoken about this difficult chapter in the past. In 2020, for example, he made similar remarks in a CNN documentary, adding that what "saved" him was his family.

This year sees Biden running for re-election following his previous win over then-president Donald Trump in 2020.

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