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----------------- For Joe Biden, it's been a long road to accepting the Democratic presidential nomination and becoming the next president of the United States. The 77-year-old politician has gone through extreme highs and lows in his personal life, including the devastating deaths of his first wife and two of his children. Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and is the oldest of four siblings. The family eventually relocated to Delaware, but Biden's childhood was not easy due to a debilitating stutter. He's talked about being bullied for having a stutter and how it's profoundly affected his life. "I can think of nothing else that has ever stripped me of my dignity as quickly and as profoundly and as thoroughly as when I stuttered in grade school," he said in a 2008 speech to the American Institute for Stuttering. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens, said that his childhood stutter has given him more empathy and compassion toward others. "Joe has been standing up to bullies his entire life," Owens said. "Joe's stuttering, I think, is one of the principal reasons -- a major, major, major reason -- that he is the good and compassionate and kind man that he is." Biden has said that he was able to reduce his stuttering by reciting poetry for hours in front of a mirror and with the help of his mother. During a CNN Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire in February, he said he "still occasionally, when I find myself really tired," catches himself stuttering. During the event, he talked at length about his experience when asked what advice he would give a college student struggling with stuttering. "You know, if you think about it, stuttering is the only handicap people still laugh about," he said. "It has nothing to do with your intelligence quotient. It has nothing to do with your intellectual makeup." He shared that his mother would tell him, "Joey, don't let this define you. Joey, remember who you are. Joey, you can do it. ... You're defined by your courage and redeemed by your loyalty." He noted of her words of encouragement, "So every time I would walk out, she would reinforce me. I know that sounds silly, but it really matters." A highlight from this year's Democratic National Convention was from 13-year-old Brayden Harrington, who said he met Biden in New Hampshire and that they bonded over both struggling with a stutter. "It's really amazing to see that someone like me became vice president," Harrington shared. "He told me about a book of poems by Yeats he would read out loud to practice. He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud." Harrington said he did "the same thing today" to be able to deliver his speech. "I'm just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident about something that's bothered me my whole life," he said. "Joe Biden cared."