Beau Biden grew up in the eyes of Delawareans

 In this 1973 photo, four-year-old Beau Biden lies in a hospital bed as his dad is sworn in as the U.S. senator from Delaware. Beau was injured in an accident that killed his mother and sister in December 1972. (AP Photo/File)

In this 1973 photo, four-year-old Beau Biden lies in a hospital bed as his dad is sworn in as the U.S. senator from Delaware. Beau was injured in an accident that killed his mother and sister in December 1972. (AP Photo/File)

Delawareans mourn for Beau Biden, the boy they watched grow from hospitalized young boy to the state’s attorney general with unlimited potential.

One of the biggest obstacles for an aspiring politician to overcome is name recognition. That wasn’t a problem for Beau Biden, and not just because of his famous father.

It was that first introduction to Beau in a hospital bed following the car accident that killed his mother and younger sister. Those images of four-year-old Beau endeared him to many in Delaware.

From that point until his death Saturday, Delawareans have followed his career. They elected Beau to two terms as attorney general and saw him go through the highs of political victories, and through lows of health problems that kept him from the limelight in his final years.

For Delaware’s lone Congressman John Carney, it feels like the whole state is mourning. “We started a relationship with somebody as a young kid in a really emotional kind of way,” Carney said. “You just see that emotion pouring out now over the last couple days.”

As the oldest son in an Irish Catholic family, Beau faced tremendous pressure to uphold the family name, not to mention the expectations that come for the son of a man with presidential aspirations. “The great thing about it is, Beau became everything that his father could ever dream of,” Carney said. 

Despite his position, Carney said Beau treated everyone with kindness and respect. “What we learn from Beau is that he always had this incredible north star that he followed. Not just to do the right, but to do the right thing in the right way.”

Carney said Beau was one of the best of the good guys. “I think that’s what makes it so hard for folks. Here was one of our native sons with just tremendous potential, and he was lost to us.”  

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