Where was Jill Biden born? 'Rebellious' FLOTUS once socked neighborhood bully for terrorizing her little sister
Jill's parents had three daughters — Jill, Jan, and Bonny — then twins Kim and Kelly 10 years later. Her sister Bonny Jacobs, for whom Jill punched the bully, said that as an older sister, Jill was the leader of the pack
While 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is first lady Jill Biden's address for the next four years, she began her life a little over two hours from Washington DC.
Jill Tracy Jacobs, who later became Jill Biden, was born in Hammonton, in Atlantic County, New Jersey. Her father, Donald Jacobs, a former World War II Navy signalman, was a bank teller and worked his way up to president of a Chestnut Hill bank in Philadelphia. Her mother, Bonny Jean (Godfrey) Jacobs, was a homemaker and was of English and Scottish descent. As a child, she lived in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, and relocated at the age of eight to Mahwah, New Jersey, where her father headed a local savings and loan, before moving to Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
Jill's parents had three daughters — Jill, Jan, and Bonny — then twins Kim and Kelly 10 years later. The three older girls shared a bedroom in Hatboro before the family moved to Willow Grove, the Montgomery County town where Jill spent most of her childhood. “I was kind of rebellious,” Jill told the Philadelphia Inquirer last year. “I loved to pull pranks and I would sneak out of school and run-up to the hoagie shop that was on the corner, those kind of things — innocent things.”
A rebel who beat up a bully
There was also an instance from her childhood when she knocked on the door of a neighborhood bully who had been terrorizing her younger sister and punched him in the face. For her heroics, she received an “atta girl” from her dad. Her sister Bonny Jacobs, for whom Jill punched the bully, said that as an older sister, Jill was the leader of the pack. “She took care of me. She was there if I needed her,” Bonny said. “As she got older, I watched everything she did — she put on makeup and when she would leave I’d try her makeup on.”
Later in life, Jill helped her younger sister with college applications and moved her into her dorm at the University of Delaware. Bonny is currently a flight attendant who lives in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Her sister Kim lives 10 minutes from her. Jan lives in Ocean City, Maryland. Kelly lives near Willow Grove. “The four of us are amazed, like, gee, our sister could be first lady,” Bonny said last year before the election results were declared. “But ... first lady is a natural transition for her.”
Jill would sneak out of home
A young Jill did not stop at beating up bullies who bothered her sister. On hot summer nights in Willow Grove, she would also sneak out of her house after her parents fell asleep. The daredevil that FLOTUS was, she would meet a friend in the dead of night, cross the Pennsylvania Turnpike, climb over the fence and break into the Upper Moreland Swim Club in the Philadelphia suburb. While a number of people frequented the club to cool themselves off, her family couldn’t afford a membership.
“I can’t even believe that I did it,” said Jill, adding that her mother did not know about the escapes for “a long, long time.” While Jill left Philadelphia behind after marrying her husband, President Joe Biden, in 1977, she still remains the girl from Philly. “Philadelphians are really resilient. It’s a city with a lot of grit, and I love that,” Jill said. “My parents truly gave me a gift, in that we were raised ... in a household where there was just so much love and support. They made us feel so safe and secure and I really think that had an influence on my life. ... They really grounded me in who I was and gave me confidence.”