Barack Obama was among the first to express his sadness at the tragic death of Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau at the age of 46. The President of the United States released a statement on Saturday evening after it was announced that Beau had lost his five-year fight with brain cancer at a hospital in Washington D.C.
"Michelle and I are grieving tonight," it read. "Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family – Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter – are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get."
Beau died at the age of 46 on Saturday 30 May following a battle with brain cancer
"Beau took after Joe," added Obama. "He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware's Attorney General. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted devoutly Catholic and faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched – and he lives on in their hearts.
"But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family. Just like his dad."
Beau with his wife Hallie in 2011
Obama went on to talk about Beau's family, including his wife Hallie, daughter Natalie and son Hunter.
Beau was Joe's son from his first marriage to Neilia Hunter, who died in a car accident in 1972 along with his sister Naomi. Beau, whose full name was Joseph Robinette Biden III, and his younger brother Hunter were seriously injured during the crash.
Beau was by his father and stepmother's side during the presidential inauguration ceremony in 2013
"Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered," Obama's statement continued. "A life that reflected their reverence for family. The Bidens have more family than they know. In the Delaware they love. In the Senate Joe reveres. Across this country that he has served for more than forty years. And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight – for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan.
Beau was the 44th Attorney General of Delaware
"Beau Biden believed the best of us all. For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher. Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth."
Beau was first diagnosed with cancer in May 2010. Five years later, on 20 May 2015, he was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the state of Maryland where he died ten days later.