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Growing Up Biden

By Valerie Biden Owens
Author: Valerie Biden Owens
ISBN: 9781250821768
ON SALE: 04/12/2022

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ISBN: 9781250821768
ISBN: 9781250821775
ISBN: 9781250839572

A memoir from Valerie Biden Owens, longtime political strategist, one of the first female campaign managers in United States history, and younger sister of Joe Biden.

In this revelatory, engrossing memoir, Valerie Biden Owens shares stories from growing up in Delaware as the only daughter of the close-knit Biden family. Later, after the tragic accident that killed her niece and sister-in-law, Valerie moved in to help raise Beau and Hunter while then-Senator Biden commuted to Washington, DC.

But beyond their deep sibling relationship, Valerie has been in lockstep with her brother throughout both of their political careers. She has run almost all of her brother’s political campaigns—starting from his run for high school class president. From speechwriting to debate preparation, Valerie has played an integral role in shaping her brother’s message and strategy.

Growing Up Biden details Valerie’s decades-long professional career in politics, and her fundamental presence in her brother's life as a close confidante. This memoir, full of candor and warmth, brings readers into the Biden home, watching as the siblings were raised to live with deep empathy, to work hard, and to help wherever they can.

Valerie Biden Owens
Valerie Biden Owens is one of the first women in the United States to have managed a modern U.S. Senatorial campaign, as well as his most recent campaign. Mrs. Biden Owens has led nearly every campaign in her brother Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s political career, including his seven straight U.S. Senate victories and his run for two Democratic Presidential nominations. She also has been his principal surrogate on the campaign trail. Valerie is the Vice Chair of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, the Vice Chair of the Biden Foundation, a partner at Owens Patrick Leadership Seminars, and the National Co-Chair of Biden for President 2020. Valerie sits on the Advisory Board of the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. For 20 years, when Valerie was not managing or advising President Biden’s campaigns, she served as Executive Vice President of Joe Slade White & CO, a media consulting firm. She has worked extensively with Women’s Campaign International, teaching women how to organize and develop communication and political skills. Valerie has also served on the National Board of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee and has served for 35 years on the board of The Ministry of Caring. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware, which recently bestowed upon her an honorary Doctorate, and is married to Jack Owens, an attorney and businessman. They have three children.

Praise for Valerie Biden Owens

"What a terrific memoir!  With an uncanny gift for storytelling and an eye for colorful detail, Biden artfully interweaves personal and public recollections to capture our imagination from start to finish. As future historians seek to understand the Biden family, there will be no better place to start than this intimate, warm, and beautifully written portrait."

Doris Kearns Goodwin

"As a campaign manager, senior adviser or chief surrogate for every one of her brother’s campaigns, Valerie Biden Owens has been an integral part of Joe Biden’s success, and a profound influence in his life.  Her stories of their close-knit Irish Catholic family are deeply moving and funny at the same time. As one of the first women to run major political campaigns, she has been much more than an eyewitness to history—she’s been an important part of it."

Donna Brazile

“With grace and candor, Valerie Biden Owens has given us an illuminating and moving memoir of an American family whose history is now inextricably intertwined with the history of our nation. From her unique perspective as her brother’s friend, adviser, and campaign manager through tumult, tragedy, and triumph, Owens paints a memorable portrait of the soul of a president whose mission is to the save the soul of America. It is the tallest of orders, the most difficult of tasks. But to hear Owens’s distinctive and original voice detail the Bidens’ long journey, it’s a job that could not be in better hands. This is a book about love, laughter, and life itself.”

Jon Meacham

“Such is the story of Val and Joe, partners in politics and confidantes in campaigns, the former always following and helping the latter. That's the spine of Growing Up Biden…”

People Magazine

Growing Up Biden is exactly what you expect: A loving tribute to Joe Biden from his only sister, loyal confidante and fierce defender. Valerie Biden Owens has been at his side for 76 years but has deliberately stayed in the background. As the mother of three children, teacher and longtime campaign manager puts it: 'It’s fair to say that I lived the first forty years of my public adult life in Joe’s shadow.'"

Washington Post

“Valerie Biden Owens, the best friend, confidante, sister and long-time campaign manager of President Joe Biden, is a force to be reckoned with. She is a successful political strategist and a family-orientated mom of three whose life’s work has been to not only support and advise her brother during his long political career but also empower women to follow their dreams. Leading by example, she serves as an inspiration to women in politics and beyond.”

Parade Magazine

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