8 Surprising Facts About Jill Biden

When someone is elected president, their family is typically thrust into the spotlight. And that means people who had flown relatively under the radar over the years suddenly become household names.

That was certainly the case for Jill Biden. When Joe Biden was elected president in 2020, Jill Biden became the First Lady. But despite becoming an international celebrity, Jill Biden wanted to maintain a normal life as a teacher, wife, and mother.

In fact, Jill Biden’s desire to maintain her normal life is just one of the things that took us by surprise. What were the rest? Here are the most surprising facts about Jill Biden!

She once blocked a charging protestor

We typically expect First Ladies to handle many important things, but they rarely get their hands dirty. This is certainly not the case with Jill Biden!

As Vox reports, Jill shared a story with the Democratic National Convention in 2020. The story concerned her little sister who, when she was growing up, was bullied by a boy in her school. Jill’s solution was simple: she “punched him right in the face.”

And she kept that energy as both an adult and a political celebrity. In early 2020, she personally walked a heckler out of a Joe Biden rally. The next month, a protester tried to rush the stage at another Biden rally in Los Angeles and Jill personally blocked him. By way of explanation, she later told The Philadelphia Inquirer, “I’m a good Philly girl.”

Is it too much to hope we see her make a cameo on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia?

RELATED: The Truth About Joe & Jill Biden’s Marriage

Her first husband claims she cheated on him with Joe Biden

It’s virtually impossible to think about Jill Biden without thinking of Joe Biden, and vice-versa. Because of this, many are surprised to discover that she was married before. And, depending on who you talk to, President Joe Biden is allegedly something of a homewrecker!

Jill Biden was married to her first husband Bill Stevenson from 1970–75. And Stevenson dropped a bombshell to The Daily Mail in August 2020, claiming that Jill cheated on him with Joe Biden while they were married. He even claimed that Joe and Jill are lying about when and how they met, alleging that he actually introduced them to each other in 1972. “I considered Joe a friend,” he said. “I’m not surprised he fell in love with Jill. Everyone who meets Jill falls in love with her immediately.”

However, Jill Biden expressly denies that she and Joe had an affair. “These claims are fictitious, seemingly to sell and promote a book,” her spokesman told Inside Edition. “The relationship of Joe and Jill Biden is well documented. Jill Biden separated from her first husband irreconcilably in the fall of 1974 and moved out of their marital home. Joe and Jill Biden had their first date in March of 1975, and they married in June of 1977.”

In an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Jill said, “If I hadn’t gotten divorced, I never would’ve met Joe.” And The New York Post reports Jill’s blunt meditation on being divorced back in the 1970s. “I didn’t know anybody who had been divorced. I felt like it was a failure on my part.” 

This was likely why she was so hesitant to get married again. Joe Biden actually had to propose five times before Jill said “yes.” Touchingly, though, Jill admitted to Vogue in 2016 that she was mostly hesitant to not disrupt the lives of Joe’s sons since the two young boys had already lost their mother.

Joe fell in love with Jill because of a modeling ad she did

When Melania Trump became First Lady, many were surprised to see that a former model had made it into the White House. But here’s something of a shocker: Jill Biden is also a former model… sort of.

This came up during her interview in 2008 with Vogue. “I might’ve done five jobs where you get paid, like, 20 bucks,” she said. But, despite the fact that she booked a few gigs, she was quick to add, “I wasn’t a model.”

So, the modeling career didn’t last long, but it ended up changing her life. That’s because, according to Joe Biden (via Inside Edition), he met Jill after he saw an advertisement of her in Wilmington, Delaware in March 1975. He was able to get her phone number from his brother Frank, who knew her from college. As Jill shared on Twitter, her first words to her future husband when he called were simply “How did you get this number?”

After that initial awkwardness, though, the two hit it off and fell in love. And the rest is history.

RELATED: 8 Strange Eating Habits Of Jill Biden

She’s the first First Lady to have a career outside the White House

Education is very important to Jill Biden, whose grandmother inspired her to teach. She earned two master’s degrees and a PhD in education (her Twitter handle is even @DrBiden). Ultimately, she became an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College in 2009. She continued working there while Joe Biden served as vice president to President Obama.

The most surprising thing, though, is that she continues to teach there while serving as First Lady. As the White House reports, this actually makes Jill the first FLOTUS ever “to maintain an independent career outside of the White House” while their spouse is president.

Of course, this has led to some pretty amusing developments. For example, while Jill is still protected by the Secret Service, the agents must dress like college students to blend in and not disrupt the educational environment of Jill’s students.

She likes to play practical jokes

The world knows Jill Biden as a dedicated teacher, mother, and wife. But what most people don’t know is that she’s also a dedicated prankster!

As ELLE reports, Jill’s granddaughter Naomi sold her out. “She’s a prankster, she’s very mischievous. When she goes on a run, sometimes she’ll find, like, a dead snake and she’ll pick it up and put it in a bag, and she’ll use it to scare someone.”

What are some other pranks? In Jill’s own memoir, she admits to hiding inside an Air Force Two overhead bin to freak people out when they opened it. The memoir also reveals Jill’s Zen-like view of pranks and jokes. “I’ve always believed you’ve got to steal the joyful moments when you can. Life is difficult, and if you sit around waiting for fun to show up, you’ll find yourself going without it more often than not.”

She certainly made the fun “show up” last year during a flight for her staff and various members of the media. As NBC News reports, she popped on a black wig and a fake nametag (it read “Jasmine”) to serve ice cream to everyone. And the prank was successful because nobody knew it was her!

RELATED: The Most Embarrassing Biden Family Moments Captured On Camera

She’s friends with Prince Harry

Joe Biden shares some of his wife’s sense of humor. For example, when giving a speech at the 2016 Invictus Games, the Daily Mail reports that he joked “Jill went to London for the last Games. She spent too much damn time with Prince Harry!”

It’s a funny joke, but there is also some truth to it. Jill and Harry have spent a lot of time hosting events that focus on helping veterans and servicemembers. And during the 2021 Virtual Warrior games, she praised Harry in a way that perfectly explains their friendship. “You live by a simple principle: Serve together, recover together. It’s a philosophy not limited by the flag you wear. … You’ve dedicated your time, talents, and heart to lifting up service members from around the globe.”

Her friendship with Michelle Obama is real

There are only so many living First Ladies. Because of that, many can’t help but wonder: what does Jill Biden really think of former First Lady Michelle Obama? The two certainly worked closely together during Barack Obama’s presidency, but were they really friends or simply colleagues?

To hear Jill describe it, she and Michelle were fast friends right away. As reported by Oprah Daily, Jill said in 2016, “It was an instant bond… we just knew we would be friends. Even if we don’t see one another for maybe a month because we’re both in different places, we get together, and it’s like that friend that you see a couple years later.”

Michelle Obama once defended Jill calling herself ‘Dr. Biden’

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at Kingsborough Community College’s commencement on June 12, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

As for Michelle, she isn’t afraid to speak up for her friend. In 2020, Joseph Epstein wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that claimed Jill Biden should not use the title “doctor” despite having a doctorate in education. As ET Online reports, he wrote, “A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc.”

In turn, Michelle Obama defended Jill on Instagram. She mentioned how great Jill was at balancing various duties and accomplishing many things only to be torn down by critics. Michelle concluded that “we could not ask for a better First Lady. She will be a terrific role model not just for young girls but for all of us, wearing her accomplishments with grace, good humor, and yes, pride,” and “I’m thrilled that the world will see what I have come to know—a brilliant woman who has distinguished herself in her profession and with the life she lives every day, always seeking to lift others up, rather than tearing them down.”

RELATED: Joe & Jill Biden Reveal ‘Surreal’ White House Life In First Post-Inauguration Interview