The long, painful road that brought President-elect Biden to Oval Office

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Joe Biden is set to become the 46th President of the United States, but the path to the Oval Office for Delaware's native son was long and sometimes very painful.

On Tuesday, President-elect Biden officially left his home state of Delaware for the last time before his inauguration.

He grew deeply emotional as he reflected on the role that state has played in his life, both personal and political.

Of all the words associated with Joseph R. Biden, ego isn't near the top of the list. Nonetheless, the start of his public life required-- at the very least-- quite a bit of self-confidence.

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President-elect Joe Biden departed for Washington D.C. from his home state of Delaware Tuesday in an emotional send-off.



It was also the year Biden, who was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, launched what could only be described as a long-shot bid to unseat Delaware's popular Republican incumbent Senator J. Caleb Boggs.

Biden, who'd already overcome a childhood stutter, overcame enormous odds again, beating Boggs with a razor thin 50.5% of the vote.

He was 30 years old, and this was really the beginning of his political career. It was quickly followed by what could have been the end.

Mere weeks later, a week before Christmas as Biden was setting up his Washington office, his family was involved in a car accident back home in Delaware. His wife and daughter were killed, his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were seriously injured.

WATCH: Historian discusses Joe Biden's path to the Oval Office
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On the eve of a historical day in the US, a historian looks back at the long, sometimes painful road that brought Joe Biden to the Oval Office.



He considered giving up altogether, later writing that "he began to understand how despair led people to just cash in; how suicide wasn't just an option but a rational option."

But, again with the odds, he overcame, and persevered -- winning seven more Senate terms before ascending to the Vice Presidency in 2008 alongside President Barack Obama.

And of course, there were controversies, and losses both electoral and personal, including the May 2015 death of his son Beau.

But perhaps that's what brought him to this moment, a career begun with hubris, a life dotted with enormous lessons in humility, and at every step, a resolve to overcome.
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