They hit it off right away, but Jill wasn’t sure she would marry Joe right away.
In fact, she said no when he knelt down and asked her to be his wife. Four times.
Thankfully Joe, who will be the 46th President of the United States, didn’t give up, and she said yes when he asked for a fifth time.
The couple married in 1977, two years after their first date.
She already had a date scheduled for the night they were to meet, but a very confident Joe told her to cancel it so they could go out.
They went out to dinner and see a movie and ended up seeing each other three nights in a row.
Jill wasn’t deterred by the nine-year age gap and liked her maturity over the guys she dated in college.
In an interview with Vogue magazine, she said: “I was a senior, and I was dating guys in jeans and clogs and t-shirts, he came to the door and he had a sports coat and pants on. moccasins, and I thought, “God, this will never work, not in a million years. He was nine years older than me!
“But we went to see A Man and a Woman at the Philadelphia Cinema, and we hit it off really well. ”
Jill had married before meeting Joe and married her first husband Bill Stevenson when she was just 18.
She was divorced when she was 24, so she wanted to make sure her Joe was The One.
Joe’s first wife, Neilia, and the couple’s daughter, Neilia, died in a car crash three years before they met Jill
Their sons, Beau and Hunter, survived the crash.
Jill wanted to be completely sure that her marriage to Joe would last so that the boys wouldn’t lose a second mother figure.
In her 2019 memoir, Where the Light Inters, Jill explains that she also feared losing her career and her own identity.
She wrote: “I knew no matter how hard I tried, there would be so many that I couldn’t control.
“If I have Joe all my heart, he had the power to break it.
“I was launching my career and planning my graduate studies – then I asked the staff to call me to schedule appointments with my boyfriend about his insane Senate schedule.
“I was being pulled in so many directions. “
But with regard to the fifth proposition, things were different.
Joe went to Jill’s apartment on the way to the airport in 1977 and said, ‘Look, I’ve been as patient as I know how to be but it got my Irishman up. Either you decide to marry me, or that’s all, I’m away. I don’t ask anymore. ”
He added, “I’m too in love with you to be just friends. ”
He then left, flying to South Africa for political office, and he finally got the ‘yes’ he wanted later that night.
They married in the United Nations Chapel in 1977, taking Joe’s sons Beau and Hunter on their honeymoon.
In his autobiography, Joe said, “She gave me back my life. She made me think my family could be whole again. ”
They welcomed a daughter together, Ashley, in 1981.
But when Joe was named vice president of Barack Obama’s administration and Jill took on the role of second lady, she refused to give up her career.
She continued her work as an English teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, saying, “Being a teacher is not what I do but who I am”.
She has four degrees – a bachelor’s, two masters and a doctorate in education.
However, she took a break from her impressive career in April of last year to support her husband in the election campaign.
But she said she intended to return to teaching English if Joe won the White House.
Jill’s clothes were a big talking point during the election campaign, and her love of bright colors and vibrant outfits made her a hit with fashion enthusiasts.
A key example is his Stuart Weitzman knee high boots, which have the word “VOTE” written on the side.