Business Politics

John Edwards

JOHN EDWARDS

John Edwards is an American politician who served a six-year term as a United States Senator from North Carolina from 1999 to 2005. Edwards started out and made his career as a trial lawyer, focusing on personal injury law, and mostly representing children and families who were oppressed by powerful interests. In helping families against large companies and insurance firms that victimized them, Edwards gained a countrywide reputation as a powerful defender of normal, hardworking people. In 2004, Edwards was the Democratic nominee for Vice President alongside John Kerry as his running mate for the presidency. After an unsuccessful result, he devoted himself to other activities including joining Fortress Investment Group, a leading asset management firm that is based in New York. In 2006, he decided to run for presidency but later suspended his presidential campaign in January 2008.

Voted by People’s Magazine as the sexiest politician in 2000, Edwards also received the Father of the Year Award in 2007. He also wrote several books including Four Trials (2003), Home (2006), and Ending Poverty in America (2007).

BACKGROUND

Johnny Reid Edwards was born on June 10, 1953 in Seneca, South Carolina, to Wallace Reid, a textile mill worker, and Catharine Juanita Edwards, a shop owner and post office worker. Edwards, in his early years, lived in Robbins, North Carolina. He eventually entered North Moore School and Clemson University. In 1974, he graduated with honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in textile technology from North Carolina State University. In 1977, he obtained his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Edwards is married to Elizabeth Anania and they presently live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They have two daughters, Cate and Emma Claire. They also have two sons, Jack and Wade. Unfortunately, Wade died in 1996 due to a vehicular accident.

CAREER

After finishing his law studies, he initially worked as a clerk for a federal judge. In 1978, he became an associate working for the Dearborn & Ewing law firm at Nashville. In 1981, his family returned to North Carolina where he worked for Tharrington, Smith & Hargrove. In 1993, he established his own law firm, Edwards & Kirby, in Raleigh, North Carolina, together with David Kirby who is his best friend ever since college.

In 1998, he was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and he served from 1999 to 2005. In 2004, he ran for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination but lost to John Kerry. Instead, Kerry chose him to be his running mate as vice president. They lost to Bush and Cheney.

After that, Edwards worked full time for One America Committee, a political action body. He also became an appointed director of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at Chapel Hill School of Law. In 2005, he joined Fortress Investment Group where he took up the post as senior adviser and became a consultant afterward.

In 2006, he announced his candidacy for the 2008 Presidential election but cancelled his campaign in early 2008.