- Category : 1953-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (30,34,49,50,54,55)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 2
American lawyer and politician, Edwards declared his candidacy for President on September 16, 2003. The centrist Southerner has promised to draw on "new ideas and old values: work, responsibility, a fair shake for all, and a free ride for none." He vowed to build a "strong defense and a strong economy" if elected President. On September 7, 2003 he announced his decision to drop out of his 2004 Senate re-election race so that he could devote his efforts to his bid for the Presidency.
On Capitol Hill, Edwards is known as a fast-walking, fast-talking man who has little regard for protocol. Critics and admirers alike cite the fact that he is running for President before paying his dues in the Senate. He is respected for his fine legal mind and even-handedness which, together with his track record in the Senate, made such an impression during Clinton’s impeachment trial that Al Gore considered him as a running mate in 2000. With his boyish good looks, Edwards was voted "sexiest politician" by People magazine in 2000.
He was sworn in to his Senate seat on January 6, 1999. Prior to that, Edwards had been a successful trial lawyer in North Carolina for over 20 years. Winning several record-setting judgments for medical malpractice, he became a multimillionaire by his late 30s. When he was 45, with no political experience, he unseated the incumbent Republican Senator, putting up $3 million of his own money. Now, at age 50, he says that the "son of a mill worker is going toe to toe against the son of a president."
The former trial lawyer was the first in his family to go to college. The family was poor and moved often as his father, a mill worker, searched for work. At one point, they lived in Georgia where John’s school was segregated. The situation made such an impact on him that he now feels that Southerners bear a special responsibility for ensuring equal rights for all. The Edwards family settled for good in Robbins, NC, when Edwards was 12. A high school jock, Edwards’ academic record at his racially diverse high school was unremarkable. His goal was to play football for the Clemson Tigers, his father’s favorite team. He attended for one semester, but, when a football scholarship didn’t materialize, he transferred to North Carolina State where he worked his way through school. Three years later, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in textile technology. As a registered Independent in college, he opposed the Vietnam War. Although he registered for the draft in 1971, he was never called to serve. In the mid-70s, he changed his political affiliation to Democrat after voting for McGovern. In 1974, he entered the University of North Carolina Law School in Chapel Hill, where he met Elizabeth Anania and first considered a career in politics. Shortly after he graduated and passed the bar exam, he and Elizabeth married on July 30, 1977, in Chapel Hill.
Edwards began his law career as a clerk to US District Court Judge Franklin T. Dupree, Jr., a Nixon appointee in Raleigh. When his father underwent heart surgery in 1981 in Raleigh, John passed up a job at a prestigious law firm to move nearer his dad. There, at age 31, he took on his landmark case on behalf of an alcoholic who had suffered brain damage and partial paralysis from a medically prescribed overdose of a drug, Antabuse. Edwards declined a settlement offer and took the case to trial, where the jury returned a verdict for $3.7 million in damages, at the time one of the largest judgments in state history. His next case, on behalf of a disabled child, shaped his career fighting for youngsters. A lawyer who once opposed him in court described Edwards as "a good strategist who knew how to evaluate his case and prepare tactics." In 1993, he formed his own law firm with a friend in Raleigh.
He and his wife Elizabeth were devoted parents to two children, son Wade born on July 18, 1979 and daughter Cate born on May 4, 1982. An athlete who has run several marathons, Edwards overcame his fear of heights in 1995 by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with his 15-year-old son. A year later, he buried that same son after a tragic car accident on April 4, 1996. Edwards and his wife, a bankruptcy lawyer, both stopped working for several months after the tragedy. He refuses to speak publicly about Wade’s death, saying initially that father and son were "connected at the breastbone." The couple created a memorial to their son, the Wade Edwards Learning Lab, an after-school center with computers and tutors. They decided to try for another child, and Elizabeth gave birth to Emma Claire on April 24, 1998 and John Atticus on May 19, 2000 when Elizabeth was 48 and 50 respectively. His friend, former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, has said that despite the boyish appearance, "there’s an old man in there. There’s an experienced human being in there who knows that life isn’t perfect."
He withdrew his bid to be the 2004 Democratic nominee for President in a gracious speech on March 3, 2004 in North Carolina.
On the morning of July 6, 2004 in Pittsburgh, PA, John Kerry announced that John Edwards had accepted Kerry’s offer to be his running mate on the Democratic ticket. The Washington Post reported that Kerry telephoned Edwards at around 7:30 AM that morning with his offer and Edwards accepted.
The Senator was officially nominated by acclamation as the Democratic Party Vice-Presidential candidate at the National Convention in Boston, MA on July 29, 2004.
Edwards and Kerry lost their bid for high office in the election held on November 2, 2004. Kerry conceded the race to Bush at about 11 AM on November 3, 2004 and Edwards and Kerry delivered their public concession speech beginning at about 2 PM in Boston, MA.
On December 28, 2006 in New Orleans, LA, he officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 US President’s race. His campaign hit a bump when his wife's cancer returned. Vowing that he will continue his campaign, Edwards and his wife Elizabeth announced on March 22, 2007 that her cancer had metastasized to her rib cage.
On January 30, 2008 at about 1:25 PM ET in New Orleans, Edwards announced that he would end his presidential campaign. In a news interview on August 8, 2008, he told the interviewier that he had had an affair with Rielle Hunter two years prior. He said he had told his wife and family then and the affair had ended by the time he announced his campaign. It appears he was only now disclosing it to the public after a tabloid, National Enquirer, began to write about the affair, claiming hush money had been paid to Hunter. Hunter has a young child but Edwards denied that the child was his. To make matters even worse, he announced on May 3, 2009 that he had come under federal investigation for alleged misuse of campaign funds related to his affair. Finally, on January 21, 2010 he admitted that the child, named Quinn Hunter, was his. Six days later, on January 27th, he and his wife Elizabeth announced their separation. Elizabeth died on December 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM according to news reports citing her family.
On June 3, 2011 he was indicted by a Greensboro, NC grand jury on charges that he misused and misreported campaign funds in covering up his affair with Rielle Hunter.