Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008

Senate Election, 1972

Joe Biden was just 29 when he rode youth and stump skills to a 3,162-vote Senate upset of GOP incumbent J. Caleb Boggs. (He cleared the 30-year-old age minimum required by the Senate later that month.) Five weeks later his wife and daughter were killed, and his two sons injured, in a car accident while Christmas shopping. Biden was convinced to take his seat anyway by Sen. Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.

—Massimo Calabresi