Hunter was born on Feb. 4, 1970 — a year and a day after his older brother, Beau.
The two boys were close growing up. Beau was seen as the future of the Biden political brand — the one who should be running for president, his father has said. President Biden has described Beau as “me, but without all the downsides.”
Beau was a natural leader, a student athlete and Ivy League-educated lawyer who rose to become the most popular political figure in Delaware. As President Barack Obama described him, Beau was “someone who charmed you, and disarmed you, and put you at ease.’’
Hunter grew up intelligent and artistic, sharing his father’s loquacious personality. After graduating from Georgetown University, he served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Portland, Ore., where he worked at a food bank in a church basement and volunteered at a socialization center for disabled people. He met a fellow volunteer, Kathleen Buhle, in the summer of 1992. Within months she was pregnant, and in July 1993 the two married. Hunter later graduated from Yale Law School.
By the early 2000s, living in Delaware with his wife and three young daughters, Hunter had begun drinking heavily at dinner, he has said, at parties and after work at Oldaker, Biden & Belair, a law and lobbying firm where he was a partner.
He moved away from lobbying around the time his father became vice president, after the Obama administration issued restrictions on lobbyists working with the government. But his later ventures drew scrutiny as well. In 2014 he joined the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that was under investigation for corruption, as Mr. Biden, then the vice president, was overseeing White House policy toward Ukraine.