John Edwards's Biography

John Edwards

Early Days

United States Sen. John Edwards born June 10, 1953 in Seneca, South Carolina. The son of a mill worker and shop owner, Edwards was raised in the small town of Robbins, North Carolina. He graduated with honors from North Carolina State University in 1974 and earned his law degree in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, met as law students at Chapel Hill. They married in 1977 and have had four children, including Catharine, a student at Princeton University; 5-year-old Emma Claire and 3-year-old Jack. Their first child, Wade, died in 1996.

Legal and Legislative Career

Edwards made his career as a trial lawyer, mostly representing families and children against large corporations and the insurance industry. In 1998, he brought this spirit of advocacy to the political arena, running for and winning a seat in the United States Senate after ousting Republican Lauch Faircloth. In Congress, Edwards championed familiar causes: quality health care, better schools, protecting civil liberties and saving Social Security and Medicare. During his term, he helped lead the call for a patients' bill of rights and served as a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence. As a member of this committee, Edwards worked to strengthen national defense and homeland security.

A Vice Presidential Nominee

In July 2004, Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry chose Edwards to be his running mate. Later that month, Kerry and Edwards were joined by speakers Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Madeline Albright and others at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. In November 2004, after a hard-fought campaign, Kerry conceded the presidential election to incumbent President Bush. In December 2006, Edwards announced his entry into the 2008 Presidential election. In March 2007, Edwards stated he will continue the campaign despite the reappearance of his wife's cancer in her rib.

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