Joe Biden had already had to dig deep to recover from the trauma of the death of his first wife and daughter in a car crash. Then in 2013 when he was serving his second term as Barack Obama's vice president, his eldest son, Beau, was diagnosed with brain cancer. In this poignant extract from his memoir, the new US president reveals the emotional turmoil of Beau’s final weeks.
The president’s office rang right on schedule. On that day in April 2015 I grabbed my notes and headed down the corridor to the Oval Office for my weekly lunch with Barack Obama.
He and I talked briefly about Tikrit at our lunch, and about what might come next in Iraq, but I think he could tell I was distracted and down. Barack knew I was just back from the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and he knew I was headed back there soon.