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30 Pictures That Define Joe Biden's Career

On Thursday, Joe Biden officially announced his 2020 presidential bid. These pictures show the nearly 50-year journey to his third and current presidential campaign.

Posted on April 25, 2019, at 12:35 p.m. ET

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Sen. Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, January 1973.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Biden points out a friend in the crowd at the Padua Academy to then-president Jimmy Carter during a fundraiser, Feb. 20, 1978.

Diana Walker / Getty Images

From left: Sens. Biden, Charles Percy, Edward Zorinsky, and Secretary of State designate George Shultz, during Shultz's confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 1, 1982.

Lana Harris / AP

Biden holds his daughter, Ashley, while taking a reenacted oath of office from Vice President George H.W. Bush, as his sons Beau (foreground) and Hunter hold the Bible, Jan. 3, 1985.

Jim Cole / AP

Democratic presidential candidate Biden walks into the center of picketers against his plans to block the confirmation of nominated Supreme Court justice Robert Bork, July 11, 1987, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Bill Ballenberg / Getty Images

Biden sits in his office after undergoing operations for two near-fatal brain aneurysms and a lung embolism, 1989.

Wally Mcnamee / Getty Images

Sen. Biden holds up the book Order and Law by Charles Fried during the Clarence Thomas hearings, Sept. 20, 1991.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Professor Anita Hill is sworn in before testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court nomination, Oct. 11, 1991. Hill testified before Biden and others on her charges of alleged sexual harassment by Judge Thomas. Critics continue to blast Biden's handling of the hearings.

Arnie Sachs / Arnie Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa / AP Images

Biden welcomes Judge Clarence Thomas to the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 10, 1991.

Jennifer Law / AFP / Getty Images

Biden whispers to Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg shortly before his committee began Ginsburg's confirmation hearing for the position of associate justice of the Supreme Court, July 20, 1993.

John Duricka / AP

Attorney General nominee William Barr is flanked by Biden (left) and Patrick Leahy, prior to Barr’s nomination hearing Nov. 12, 1991, to join the administration of George H.W. Bush.

Barry Thumma / AP

Biden stands behind a flag as Barbara Boxer (second from right) along with other women members of Congress meet reporters to discuss the Violence Against Women Act, Feb. 24, 1993.

Douglas Graham / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Sens. Biden and Jesse Helms speak at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on chemical weapons, April 15, 1997.

Mike Theiler / AFP / Getty Images

President George W. Bush answers reporters' questions prior to a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders, including Biden, at the White House, July 25, 2001.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Sen. Barack Obama talks with Biden during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 11, 2005, in Washington, DC. The committee was conducting hearings on the nomination of John Bolton to be the ambassador to the United Nations.

Mark Hirsch / AP

Democratic presidential hopeful Biden holds his wife, Jill, as they stand in a hallway awaiting his introduction for a rally in Dubuque, Iowa, Jan. 3, 2008.

Pool / Getty Images

Democratic vice presidential candidate Biden debates Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Oct. 2, 2008.

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

Vice presidential nominee Biden and Democratic presidential nominee Obama enjoy ice cream cones as they speak with local residents in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Aug. 29, 2008.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President–elect Biden wave to their supporters after Obama gave his victory speech during an election night gathering, Nov. 4, 2008, in Chicago, Illinois.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President-elect Obama, flanked by Vice President–elect Biden and Arne Duncan, the nominee for education secretary, takes a question from a student at a school in Chicago, Dec. 16, 2008.

John Moore / Getty Images

Vice President Biden dances with his wife Jill at the Commander-In-Chief's Inaugural Ball, Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington, DC.

Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP

Vice President Biden extends his hand to congratulate Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton following her ceremonial swearing-in at the State Department, Feb. 2, 2009.

Pool New / Reuters

Vice President Biden points to President Obama, who delivers his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Jan. 12, 2016.

Gary Cameron / Reuters

Biden speaks closely with Stephanie Carter as her husband, Ash Carter, not pictured, delivers his acceptance speech as the new secretary of defense, Feb. 17, 2015. In 2019, Stephanie Carter described this picture as "misleading" in its implication of inappropriate contact between Biden and herself. She described Biden as a friend who had been supporting her as she was nervous.

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Biden talks with his son Beau Biden, a US Army captain, at Camp Victory outside Baghdad, July 4, 2009.

The White House / Getty Images

President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011, in Washington, DC.

Bryan Woolston / Reuters

Vice President Biden places his hand on his heart as the casket of his son is carried into the church before a funeral mass for former Delaware attorney general Beau Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, June 6, 2015.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President Obama awards Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington, DC, Jan. 12, 2017.

Brian Snyder / Reuters

A man holds "Run Joe Run" signs ahead of an appearance by former vice president Joe Biden in Boston, April 18, 2019.

Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Biden waves to supporters April 5, 2019, in Washington, DC.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.