Born: June 10, 1953
Famous For: John Kerry's vice presidential running mate in 2004 presidential election (after his own early bid for the Democratic nomination).
Key Accomplishments: Graduated with honors from both North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law school. Successful personal injury attorney. Democratic US Senator (January 6, 1999-January 3, 2004)
Significant Quote: "This is America, where everything is still possible."
Fun Quote: "The president of the United States actually has to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time."
See Also Links:
Democratic presidential hopeful Johnny Reid "John" Edwards was born on June 10, 1953 in Seneca, South Carolina. His father, Wallace R. Edwards, was a textile mill floor worker and his mother, Kathryn Juanita Wade, was a postal letter carrier. Edwards was the first person in his family to attend college, graduating from North Carolina State University in 1974 and later earning a law degree from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, he met fellow law student Elizabeth Anania, and they married in 1977.
Before entering politics, Edwards spent twenty years as a personal injury trial attorney. He represented families and children, specializing in corporate negligence and medical malpractice claims. He made his impressive fortune through his trial successes, and his advocacy for working class people earned him respect and recognition across the United States.
Edwards was elected to the US Senate in 1998, defeating an incumbent senator. In Congress, he quickly established himself as a champion for issues such as quality health care, better schools, protecting civil liberties, preserving the environment, saving social security and Medicare, and campaign finance reform. He was also a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, working to strengthen national defense and homeland security. During his senate term, he co-sponsored 203 bills. He announced his retirement from Senate before the 2004 election.
In 2003, Edwards unofficially announced that he was seeking the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He made the offical announcement the next morning. After strong showings early in his campaign, Edwards lost momentum. Following his Democratic primary defeat, he became John Kerry's vice presidential running mate, a decision widely supported by Democratic voters. Kerry was defeated in the presidential election by George W. Bush.
On December 27, 2006, Edwards' campaign website accidentally went live and released that he would be entering the 2008 Presidential election. This incident happened one day prior to the planned announcement. It also inadvertently announced his campaign slogan, "Tomorrow begins today." On December 28, 2007, he officially announced his candidacy for President in the 2008 election. The main issues Edwards' campaign focuses on are eliminating poverty, fighting global warming, and providing universal health care. He has also denounced a troop surge in Iraq and has said that he is not ready to take a position on the issue of same-sex marriage. He does, however, support civil unions and partnership benefits.
On March 22, 2007, Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced that she has stage IV breast cancer. It has progressed to the point that it is no longer curable, but completely treatable. They plan to continue campaigning together, with occasional breaks for treatments. Edwards and his wife have four children, including: Catharine, who is attending law school; eight year old Emma Claire, and six year old Jack. Their oldest son, Wade, was killed in a car accident in 1996. They reside in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina.