What is the Joe Biden Corn pop story? A story native Biden’s youth, which the recounts during a speech, has resurfaced currently he’s been announced together president-elect of the US. That all began when 19-year-old Joe Biden worked as a lifeguard at an all-black pool in Wilmington, Delaware…

1962: Teenage Joe Biden confronts Corn Pop

“100 years ago… once I was in high school…” So begins Joe Biden’s tale of an interracial quarrel, every the means back in 1962.

You are watching: Corn pop was a bad dude and he ran


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Biden’s autobiography – promises To Keep: top top Life and also Politics – speak of a narrowly avoided spat between the future POTUS and also the leader that the Romans – the biggest gang in Wilmington, Delaware. 


Biden was working as a lifeguard in ~ the time and told the gang leader not to sit on the diving board.


Prompted to tell the story during a decided at the very recreation centre at which it happened, Biden obliged.

Biden’s upbringing in Jim Crow-era Delaware

It was a different time, Biden explains. And also truly, it was. “I no know any type of black people. You no know any kind of white civilization either,’ he states to a group of black youth listening to his speech.


Biden’s neighbourhood to be undergoing a demographic shift at the time. A huge interstate road advance had forced numerous black households into a team of real estate projects in ~ the bottom that a hill. They referred to as it “the bucket”.

The regional pool ended up being a hangout because that neighbourhood gangs and Biden, who functioned there together a lifeguard, was the only white employee. 

He recalls finding out a lot from his black color co-workers – about the segregation and discrimination lock experienced. Then he move on come talk around an incident entailing a young man recognized as Corn Pop.


Black human being have brought Joe Biden to the run from the beginning. The wouldn’t have won his an initial election without the aid of Mouse and Marty and, yes, Corn popular music (he was real). And also now, they brought him to the presidency: https://t.co/BWjElM0ks6

— Robert Samuels (

What happened in between Corn Pop and also Joe Biden?

According to Biden’s story, Corn Pop to be a neighborhood gang leader. “Corn Pop to be a bad dude. That ran a bunch of poor boys,” that says.

One day Corn Pop was sitting top top the diving board – where that shouldn’t have actually been – and also wearing a bathing cap to safeguard the pomade in his hair.

Joe Biden continues the tale. “I said, ‘Hey Esther , you, off the board. I’ll come up and drag you off.’” 

Corn popular music allegedly responded by saying: “I’ll meet you outside”. At the end of his shift, Biden went out to his car and also saw Corn popular music “waiting there because that with 3 guys and also straight razors.”


How does the story end?

On the advice of the swimming pool maintenance guy, Biden accused met Corn Pop with a six-foot length of chain wrapped round his forearm.

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He met him face to face and said: “First the all, when I tell friend to gain off the board you gain off the board, and also I’ll absent you the end again, yet I do not do it have referred to as you Esther Williams. Ns apologise for that.”

And that, that says, to be that. Corn Pop put his razor away and also they came to be friends. The story has actually done the rounds several times. 

Now Biden is president-elect that the unified States, this tale has actually come increase one an ext time as component of the country’s curiosity about the future POTUS’ past.