In Louisiana, a state is known for its versatile politicians, Edwin Edwards has shined for half a century, an almost eternal neon rainbow. The political style is a drama dominated by the legendary instigator of the Great Depression, Huey Long. Edwards served three full terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, served as governor of four terms, and served eight years in federal prison for racketeering and related crimes since 2000. In 2014, he made a political comeback and once again ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. Even at the bottom of his career, he was resourceful and tenacious.
He could joke about being sentenced to prison, at age 73. “The government asked the judge to sentence me to life or 35 to 40 years,” he recalled. “I said I’d take life, it’s shorter.” The judge, he added, “didn’t see the humor in that.”
He bet very hard. He boasted that he pursued a woman half his age; he got acquainted with a third wife 51 years younger than him through a prison letter. His hair turned silver, with the soft and unkempt head of a TV preacher. His cute and playful personality often conceals his true achievements. He helped shape the modern Democratic Party by supporting racial tolerance and modernizing the outdated Louisiana government. The Superdome Stadium opened in 1975 during his tenure as governor. In the 1991 runner-up election for governor, Edwards’s savvy campaign resulted in a disastrous defeat for the then state representative. David Duke, the former great wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, his rise as a national symbol of white anger was prevented. In that career, Edwards used his signature humor to achieve good results. His supporters posted on the bumper: “Vote for the Crook. It’s Important,” alluding to a failed attempt to prosecute him on corruption charges. He also slyly joked that he and Duke were “wizards under the sheets.”
Edwards is a step backward from an era when swamp politics was more tolerant when Louisianans were more tolerant of politicians’ conversion of excessive behavior into performing arts.
Lawrence Powell, Professor Emeritus of History at Tulane University in New Orleans, called Mr. Edwards“the last of the buccaneer liberals who governed in the tradition of Huey Long. They were characterized by a redistributionist politics, where you could always see progress in lifting people out of poverty — but it was linked to easy political morals.”
Family spokesperson Leo Honeycutt confirmed his death to the Associated Press. According to the Associated Press, Edwards was admitted to the hospice at his home in Gonzales, Louisiana, this month. . The complete list of survivors is not immediately available. The last time was in 2014, losing to Garret Graves (R) by nearly 25% in the final. But he seemed as depressed as he was after he was released from prison.
“As you know, they sent me to prison for life,” he told the audience in 2011 at a rice festival in Crowley. “But I came back with a wife.”