Magazine May 17, 2021, Issue

Joe Biden, Fabulous Hero

(Amr Alfiky/Getty Images)

In 1962, Joe Biden, the future president of the United States, butted heads with an infamous local gang leader named “Corn Pop” at a public swimming pool in an African-American neighborhood in Wilmington, Del.

This character-building incident transpired at the same pool complex where, four years earlier, a teenage Biden had inquisitively turned to his father after witnessing two men making out on the working-class streets of his adopted hometown in the late 1950s. Such an event might seem anachronistic to us. Yet Biden’s uncannily liberal-minded father simply responded, “Joey, it’s simple. They love each other.”

Joey, now a lifeguard, wasn’t contemplating

This article appears as “The Fabulous Hero” in the May 17, 2021, print edition of National Review.

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