When Joe Biden tragically lost his first wife, Nelia, in a 1972 car accident, the newly-elected Delaware senator was left devastated, grieving, and single parenting his two surviving kids (his daughter had been killed in the crash along with her mom). While Biden went through some dark years, he did get a second chance at love a few years later, and in 1977 he married his second wife, Jill.
It was a second marriage for both Joe and Jill, although Jill, unlike Joe, was with her first husband until divorce did them part. Their “meet cute” love story, according to the Daily Mail, began when Biden saw a picture of Jill appearing in an airport ad for Wilmington-area parks. He thought she looked like his kind of girl, and luckily for him, his brother Frank was acquainted with Jill and obligingly passed along her phone number. 45 years later, the twosome are still together. But what about Jill’s first husband? Who was the man she was with before Joe? Bill Stevenson, it seems, is a man with quite an interesting past.
Bill Stevenson's got his own stories to tell
The way Town Square Delaware describes him, Stevenson is a serial entrepreneur, an author, and an alum of the 1969 Woodstock festival. In fact, the three (or maybe four) days he spent at Woodstock were to launch him on his life’s first path, owning Newark’s Stone Balloon (a club Rolling Stone once called “the best-kept secret in rock and roll”). The Daily Mail also notes that Stevenson once played for the University of Delaware football team (go Blue Hens!), and that after his club-owning days he founded a horticultural company and invented a plant support system that he sold to Scott’s Miracle-Gro. He’s also a gold medal-winning shot putter in the National Senior Games, and, after suffering a near-fatal 2018 heart attack on the streets of New York City, is spearheading a nationwide campaign to equip patrol cars with defibrillators.
As an author, Stevenson wrote a book called The Stone Balloon, the Early Years (currently out of print, but a used copy on Amazon will run you $394.97), and now has a second book in the works. This one, he implies, will be a tell-all tome about his famous ex, focusing on his suspicions that she may have been involved with Joe Biden while still married to him (a claim both Bidens refute). Whether the “he said” or “she said” version of this story prevails, one thing’s for sure: Bill Stevenson will continue to be one of Delaware’s most colorful characters.
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