Edwards was born in Seneca, South Carolina, and spent his formative years in the town of Robbins, North Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in texile technology in 1974, and later earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Edwards and his wife Elizabeth have four children. In 1996, he lost his son, Wade, in an automobile accident; in remembrance of his son, Edwards wears Wade's Outward Bound pin on his suit jacket. The Edwards family resides in Raleigh, North Carolina and Washington DC.
Before his election, Edwards was a successful trial attorney who represented families and children that had been wrongly injured by negligent corporate manufacturers, and municipal entities.
Edwards' skill as a trial attorney was evident during President Bill Clinton's 1999 Senate impeachment trial. Edwards played a critical role in the Senate proceedings that eventually ended in the President's acquittal.
During the 2000 Presidential campaign, Edwards made Democratic nominee Al Gore's Vice Presidentialial nominee short list (passed over for Joe Lieberman, and in November 2000, People magazine named Edwards as its choice for the "sexiest politician."
Edwards serves on several Senate committees, including the prestigious Intelligence and Judicial committees. In January 2003, Edwards announced his intention to seek the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination, declining to run for re-election to the Senate in that same year.
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Our military leaders have accomplished a great success. I hope President Bush will use this opportunity to chart a course in Iraq that will bring in our allies in a meaningful way to achieve a democratic and peaceful Iraq.