AKA John Reid Edwards
Birthplace: Seneca, SC
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: 2004 Vice Presidential candidate
John Edwards' life is a rags-to-riches story. He grew up poor in North Carolina, and worked his way through college, becoming the first member of his family to go past high school. After law school, he went into private practice, and became a highly-successful trial attorney, known for theatrics and for his impassioned representation of "the little guy" -- families and children hurt by negligent corporations. In one of Edwards' most famous cases, he won millions of dollars for the family of a nine-year-old girl whose internal organs had been sucked out of her by an un-shielded swimming pool drain. In another courtroom victory, Edwards' client had suffered permanent brain damage after a doctor prescribed an incorrect dosage of medication.
After his teenaged son was killed in a traffic accident in 1996, Edwards re-assessed his life and decided to enter politics. He was elected to the US Senate in 1998, defeating the incumbent, Lauch Faircloth. In 2000, People magazine named Edwards the Sexiest Politician Alive, and in 2001 he began positioning himself for a Presidential run. In 2003 he announced that he would not be running for a second term in the Senate, but would instead be a candidate for President. His candidacy failed to attract much attention or enthusiasm, and the only primary Edwards won was in his home state of South Carolina. He instead became Sen John Kerry's vice presidential candidate, losing to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the 2004 election.
In his six years in the Senate, Edwards was unable to accomplish much. He was outspoken in attempts to block some of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench, but supported the PATRIOT Act and the invasion of Iraq. With John McCain and Ted Kennedy, he co-authored the Bipartisan Patient Protection Act, which passed the Senate but died in the House.
He was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, supporting universal health care, opposing gay marriage, and calling for action on global warming. He supported Bush's call for war on Iraq while in the Senate, but in a 2005 op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Edwards did what Bush never has -- he apologized for supporting the war, and offered some thoughtful ideas to end the ongoing occupation.
In 2004, Edwards' wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent sixteen weeks of chemotherapy before having the half-dollar sized lump surgically removed. In 2007, Edwards called a press conference to announce that her cancer had returned and spread to her bones. In July 2008, the National Enquirer reported that Edwards had a mistress and infant child out of wedlock. He admitted to the extramarital affair, but adamantly denied paternity of the child until January 2010, after the child's mother, Rielle Hunter, sued to obtain financial support from Edwards for his daughter. Edwards was later indicted for accepting $925K from supporters during the 2008 election to conceal the pregnancy.
Father: Wallace Edwards (textile millworker)
Mother: Bobbie Edwards (postal worker)
Wife: Elizabeth Edwards (attorney, m. 30-Jul-1977, sep. Jan-2010, d. 7-Dec-2010, two sons, two daughters)
Son: Wade Edwards (b. circa 1980, d. 4-Apr-1996)
Daughter: Catharine Edwards (law student, b. 4-Mar-1982)
Daughter: Emma Claire Edwards (b. 23-Apr-1998)
Son: Jack Edwards (b. 2000)
Mistress: Rielle Hunter (actress/activist, "Lisa Jo Druck", one daughter)
Daughter: Frances Quinn Hunter (b. 27-Feb-2008)
University: North Moore High School, Robbins, NC (1971)
University: Clemson University (transferred to NC State)
University: BA Textile Technology, North Carolina State University (1974)
Law School: JD, University of North Carolina (1977)
Teacher: University of North Carolina (2005)
US Senator, North Carolina (1999-2005)
United Parcel Service Package Handler (1970s)
John Edwards for President Candidate
One America Committee
New Democrat Movement Founder, Senate New Democrat Coalition
Funeral: Ted Kennedy (2009)
Sex Tape Scandal
Campaign Finance Violation indicted Jun-2011; not guilty 31-May-2012
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (7-Aug-2009) · Himself
Author of books:
Four Trials (2003, autobiography, with John Auchard)
Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives (2006, non-fiction)
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