Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th president of the United States.
A familiar face to many Americans, the 77-year-old Democratic candidate has had a long political career in Washington and spent two terms as vice president to Donald Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
Described by Obama as the "best vice president America ever had" during their tenure, Mr Biden voiced support for LGBTQ rights, calling himself "absolutely comfortable" with the idea of same-sex marriage.
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He was caught on a microphone saying that the signing of the Affordable Care Act was a "big f*****g deal" and also led the Gun Violence Task Force in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.
His loyalty to the first African American President was rewarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, presented by Mr Obama days before he left office in 2017.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1942 to a Catholic family, Joe Robinette Biden Jr studied at the University of Delaware and then earned a law degree from Syracuse University in 1968.
He was first elected in 1972, and served six terms as a senator for the state of Delaware.
He was was the sixth -youngest Senator in US history aged 30 and his age at his first election contributed to him being consistently ranked as one of the least wealthy members in the Senate.
His first attempt at the White House job was the 1988 race, but he was forced to withdraw from the Democratic nomination contest after he admitted to plagiarising parts of a speech from British Labour leader Neil Kinnock.
Shortly after Mr Kinnock's May 1987 conference speech which included the lines: "Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?
"Was it because all our predecessors were thick?"
Mr Biden echoed on the campaign trail - without credit to Mr Kinnock - "Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university?
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"Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright?"
His next run for the Democratic candidacy was in 2007, which concluded with him pulling out and joining the Obama ticket.
Mr Biden secured the current nomination when his last competitor, Bernie Sanders, dropped out in April 2020.
He faced allegations from former staffer Tara Reade in 2019, who said she felt uncomfortable with Mr Biden during her time in his Senate office in the 90s.
In March 2020, she also accused him of a sexual assault in 1993.
Mr Biden and his campaign team have strongly denied the allegation.
During his time on The Hill, Mr Biden was a long-term member of the Senate Judiciary committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, of which he eventually became chair.
During his time on the Judiciary Committee, Mr Biden spearheaded the 1994 Crime Bill which led to mass incarcerations, something he expressed regret over at a town hall campaign event in Philadelphia last month.
Mr Biden has often spoken of the loss of his first wife Neilia and baby daughter Naomi in a car accident in 1972.
The tragedy also left his toddler sons Beau and Hunter injured, meaning the newly-elected Senator took the oath of office from their hospital room.
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More than 40 years later in 2015, Beau died of a brain tumour aged 46.
Mr Biden has referred to his personal losses on the campaign trail, and declared: "Healthcare is personal to me."
In a campaign video released in October, Mr Biden pointed to his son's terminal diagnosis and said: "I can't fathom what would have happened if the insurance companies had the power to say 'Last few months, you're on your own'."
Mr Biden met his second wife Jill Jacobs in 1975, and they married in June 1977.
They had a daughter, Ashley, in 1981.
A divided US
By Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland
Joe Biden has captured the US presidency as voters narrowly rebuffed Donald Trump's tumultuous leadership and embraced Biden's promise to fight the coronavirus pandemic and fix the economy in a divided nation.
Winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania's 20 Electoral College votes gave Biden more than the 270 he needed on Saturday.
It prompted all major TV networks to declare the former vice president the winner after four days of nail-biting suspense following Tuesday's election.
"With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It's time for America to unite. And to heal," Biden said on Twitter.
Congratulations poured in from leaders around the world, including conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The reactions from global leaders make it hard for Trump to push his repeated claims, without evidence, that the election was rigged against him.
Trump, who was golfing when the networks made their calls for his rival, immediately accused Biden of "rushing to falsely pose as the winner".
"This election is far from over," he said in a statement.
Trump has filed a raft of lawsuits to challenge the results but election officials in states across the country say there has been no evidence of significant fraud, and legal experts say Trump's efforts are unlikely to succeed.
As the news broke, loud cheers erupted in the halls of the hotel where Biden aides were staying, and in cities around the country.
Biden's running mate, US Senator Kamala Harris, tweeted a video of her congratulating Biden: "We did it Joe!"
Harris will be the first woman, the first African-American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as vice president.
Cheers and applause was heard in neighbourhoods around Washington DC, with people emerging onto balconies, yelling, honking their horns and banging pots.
The wave of noise built as more people learned of the news. Some were in tears. Music began to play and "We are the Champions" blared.
In the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, people clapped, and erupted in screams of joy as the news spread.
Some residents danced on a building's fire escape cheering, while others screamed "yes!" as they passed by.
In a reminder of the divided state of the country, however, pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" demonstrators gathered at state capitol buildings in Lansing, Michigan, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The networks' declaration that Biden had won came amid internal concerns within Trump's team about the strategy going forward and pressure on him to pick a more professional legal team to outline where they believe voter fraud took place and show evidence pointing toward it.
One Trump loyalist said Trump simply was not ready to admit defeat even though there would not be enough ballots thrown out in a recount to change the outcome.
"There's a mathematical certainty that he's going to lose," the loyalist said.
Biden was expected to address the nation after 8pm on Saturday Eastern Time from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
Australian Associated Press
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