President Obama & Michelle Say Beau Biden's Death Has Left Them "Grieving Tonight"

Minutes after the Biden family announced in a statement Saturday night that Beau Biden, son of vice president Joe, had died at 46 of brain cancer, the Obama family responded with a lengthy and heartbreaking statement of their own, noting that Beau had been "just like his dad." Beau had been hospitalized earlier in May for undisclosed reasons, and had been in and out of the hospital in recent months.

In the statement, the Obamas quoted William Butler Yeats: "I have believed the best of every man, and find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher," and offered their sincere sympathies to the family of Beau. The Obamas noted several times that Beau took after his father both personally and professionally.

Beau took after Joe. He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware's Attorney General. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched - and he lives on in their hearts.But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family.Just like his dad.

Said the Bidens in a statement on Saturday: "The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us, especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter."

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The full statement from the Obamas reads:

Michelle and I are grieving tonight. Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family - Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter - are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get.Beau took after Joe. He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware's Attorney General. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched - and he lives on in their hearts.But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family.Just like his dad.Joe is one of the strongest men we've ever known. He's as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family. It's one of the things we love about him. And it is a testament to Joe and Jill - to who they are - that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.The Bidens have more family than they know. In the Delaware they love. In the Senate Joe reveres. Across this country that he has served for more than forty years. And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight - for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau's brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan."I have believed the best of every man," wrote the poet William Butler Yeats, "And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher."Beau Biden believed the best of us all. For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth.