John Edwards' bold ideas have shaped the debate in this election. Whether
itâ€™s creating universal health care or halting global warming, ending poverty
or ending the war in Iraq and restoring Americaâ€™s moral leadership around the
world, John has led with the boldest and most comprehensive plans for
overcoming the challenges we face today.
John is the one candidate willing to speak the truth about whatâ€™s going on
in Washington: big corporations and special interests have taken over our
government and taken the power away from the American people. And he knows
thereâ€™s only one way to get it back: to stand up, take them on, and beat them.
John is ready for this fight â€“ because fighting special interests on behalf
of regular, hard-working Americans is what heâ€™s been doing his entire life.
John is a self-made man who was born in Seneca, South Carolina and raised in
Robbins, North Carolina, a small town in the Piedmont. Growing up, John learned
the values of hard work and perseverance from his father, Wallace, who worked
in the textile mills for 36 years, and from his mother, Bobbie, who ran a shop
and worked at the post office. Working alongside his father at the mill, John
developed his strong belief that all Americans deserve an equal opportunity to
succeed and be heard.
A proud product of public schools, John was the first person in his family
to attend college. He worked his way through North Carolina State University
where he graduated with high honors in 1974, and then earned a law degree with
honors in 1977 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For the next 20 years, John dedicated his life to representing families and
children just like the families he grew up with in Robbins, who were being
victimized by powerful interests.
Throughout his career, John found himself on one side of the courtroom with
an army of corporate lawyers on the other. Every time, they thought they could
win. But they were wrong. Because John beat them, again and again, on behalf of
hard-working families facing the darkest moments of their lives. Through his
career, he helped families overcome tremendous challenges, and earned a
national reputation as a forceful and tireless champion for regular,
In 1998, John took that commitment into politics, to give a voice to the
kind of people he represented throughout his career. Without taking a dime from
lobbyists or political actions committees (he never has), John ran for the
Senate and won an upset victory, unseating an incumbent Republican who was a
part of the corrupt Jesse Helms political machine.
In the Senate, Senator Edwards continued to be a champion for regular,
hard-working families, taking on critical issues like quality health care,
better schools, protecting civil liberties, preserving the environment, saving
Social Security and Medicare, and getting big money out of politics.
As a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Edwards worked
tirelessly for a strong national defense and to strengthen the security of our
homeland. He authored key pieces of legislation on cyber, bio, and port
Senator Edwards brought his positive message of change and fighting for
regular families to the 2004 presidential primaries. During the primary season
he spoke about the Two Americas that exist in our country today: one for people
at the top who have everything they need and one for everybody else who
struggle to get by. This powerful message resonated with voters all across
After the Democratic primaries, Senator John Kerry picked Senator Edwards to
serve as his running mate in the 2004 general election, and Senator Edwards
crisscrossed the country and campaigned tirelessly on Senator Kerry's behalf.
Today, he is running for president on behalf of the people he grew up with:
good, hard-working Americans who want nothing more than to leave a better life
for their children â€“ just like their parents did for them.
He is the former Director of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Senator Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, whom he met when both were law
students at Chapel Hill, were married in 1977. They have had four children,
including: their eldest daughter, Catharine, who is attending law school;
nine-year-old Emma Claire; and a seven-year-old son, Jack. Their first child,
Wade, died in 1996.