John Edwards
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American attorney cum politician John Edwards served as a United States Senator representing North Carolina. In addition to being the 2004 Democratic nominee for Vice President, he was also a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in both 2004 and 2008. His time as a Senator came after he defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth at the polls, running for a single six-year term. Eventually, he became the running mate to Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts in the 2004 presidential elections.

Following Kerry’s loss to the then-President George W. Bush, Edward commenced full-time work with a political action committee called One America Committee which he established in 2001. Also, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law appointed him director of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity. John Edwards also worked with Fortress Investment Group LLC as a consultant.

Early Life and Education

Although born in Seneca, South Carolina, John Edwards’ family moved several times during his formative years, eventually taking up permanent residence at Robbins, North Carolina, where his dad Wallace Reid Edwards was employed as a textile mill floor worker but eventually, he got promoted to the position of a supervisor. His mum Catharine Juanita “Bobbie” Edwards (née Wade) ran her own antique finishing business by the roadside but later took on another job as a letter carrier when his dad left his supervisor job. He was born on the 10th of June 1953, there is no record of any siblings which makes it a bit difficult to guess whether he is an only child or not.

No other person in the Edwards family ever attended college education, making him the first to attain such exalted status. Starting with Clemson University with a later transfer to North Carolina State University, John Edwards earned himself a BA in Textile Technology in 1974. After graduating with high honours, he then proceeded to UNC – University of North Carolina School of Law where he bagged his Juris Doctor and since he was an exceptional scholar, he graduated with honours also.

Wife and Children

John Edwards
L-R Cate, John Edwards and Elizabeth – image source

While at UNC, he met his spouse Elizabeth Anania. The duo got married in 1977, having four children in all – Wade was born in 1979 and soon became a brother to Cate in 1982, Emma Clair joined the Edwards family in 1998 with Jack following in 2000. These are just his legitimate children because he actually had one child out of wedlock with his ex-mistress Rielle Hunter, though he denied paternity for a couple of years before owning up in 2010.

Wade died prematurely in a car accident when his jeep was swept off the North Carolina highway by a fierce wind in 1996. Three weeks prior to his death, he was honoured at the White House by the then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as one of the 10 finalists who participated in an essay competition sponsored by the Voice of America and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He earned the feat his essay on entering the voting booth with his father.

Accompanied by his parents and sister, Wade met Senator Jesse Helms who later entered his obituary and essay into the Congressional record. His parents launched the Wade Edwards Foundation in memory of their son, the purpose of which was to encourage, reward as well as inspire the younger generation in pursuit of excellence. The foundation later launched the Wade Edwards Learning Lab at the high school he attended, Needham B. Broughton High School Raleigh, alongside essay awards and scholarship competitions.

Elizabeth revealed on the 3rd of November 2004 that she had breast cancer but continued working with her husband after undergoing treatment. The cancer returned with further metastases which made it impossible to cure but can be treated. Elizabeth’s book Resilience which chronicled her struggle with her husband’s infidelity was published in June 2010. She revealed how her spouse lied about his extramarital affair, keeping her in the dark for so long. She also revealed how she struggled to forgive John upon hearing about the infidelity but he kept up with the lies. Elizabeth wasted no time in severing her relationship with John Edwards in January 2010, with plans to divorce him after the mandatory waiting period of one year. Unfortunately, she died on the 7th of December 2010 at the age of 61. Cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.

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Relationship With Rielle Hunter

It would appear that fidelity is not a strong point with the politician cum attorney because while his wife was suffering from the ravages of breast cancer, John Edwards was running around with Rielle Hunter – a former campaign worker with whom he had an adulterous affair. His illicit affair affected his chances of earning prestigious positions such as the attorney general or running for the position of the Vice President of the United States. John Edwards had a child with his mistress, though he denied it for a long time, he later owned up on the 21st of January 2010 through a press release.

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