Biden made nearly $16 million in two years after leaving White House, tax returns show

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By Mike Memoli and Marianna Sotomayor  with NBC News Politics
Image: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the South Carolina Democra
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia.   -   Copyright  Sean Rayford Getty Images file

Joe Biden, who long described himself as one of the poorest members of the U.S. Senate and built his political persona on his middle-class roots, became a multi-millionaire after leaving the White House, according to new tax filings and a financial disclosure released by his campaign Tuesday.

The former vice president and his wife reported an income of more than $11 million in 2017 and $4.5 million in 2018, mostly from their respective book deals. Other income included the couple's salaries as professors — Joe Biden through his new affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania and Jill Biden from her continued employment as a community college professor in Virginia.

Biden also collected tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees, some at events promoting his 2017 autobiography but at least three dozen other honoraria ranging from as little as $25,000 to $190,000 for one lecture at Drew University. The Bidens also continued to collect rental income from a cottage house on the grounds of their home in Delaware.

The Bidens reported paying more than $3.7 million in federal income taxes in 2017 and $1.5 million in 2018. They gave more than $1 million and $275,000 to charity in those years, respectively.