A memoir from Valerie Biden Owens, Joe Biden’s younger sister, trusted confidante and lifelong campaign manager. Valerie, one of the first female campaign managers in United States history, writes of the role of family, faith, and fate in shaping her life, and the power of empathy and kindness in the face of turmoil and division.
Growing Up Biden details Valerie’s decades-long professional career in politics, and the central role she played in her brother’s life as an insightful adviser, an ever-loyal advocate and best friend.
This memoir, full of candor and warmth, brings readers into the Biden home and shares stories from growing up in Delaware as the only daughter of the close-knit Irish Catholic family. Valerie writes in a compelling, relatable way about the challenges she faced breaking through gender barriers, the elusive nature of confidence, and navigating professional responsibilities while raising children.
About the Author
Valerie Biden Owens is the first woman in U.S. history to have run a presidential campaign—that of her brother, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. She also led his seven straight U.S. Senate victories and has been his principal surrogate on the campaign trail.
Valerie is Chair of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware and a partner at Owens Patrick Leadership Seminars. 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. She is married to Jack Owens, an attorney and businessman. They have three children.
"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
“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.”
"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."