Remembering Edwin Edwards, former Louisiana Governor

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(KLFY) — Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards passed away Monday, July 12. He was often called one of Louisiana’s most colorful and flamboyant politicians.

The four-term governor was larger than life. He was charismatic, well dressed, and shrewd, and impressively quick with retorts. 

One of his most infamous “one-liners” came in the election year 1983 when he said quote, “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl of a live boy.”

The Avoyelles Parish native and son of a sharecropper began his public service career when he was elected to the Crowley City Council in 1954.         

Ten years later, he was elected to the Louisiana State Senate where he served for two years. From 1965 to 1972 he held a congressional seat for Louisiana’s 7th district. The powerful politician would go on to become Louisiana’s 50th governor for four terms from 1972 to 1996.

But his business dealings and questionable practices would catch up to him. In 2000, he was convicted on 17 of 26 counts including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail and wire fraud in the millions. He was sentenced to federal prison and would remain there until his release in 2013.

The father of five was married three times. He had four children with his first wife Elaine Schwartzenburg. He and his second wife Candy Picou were married in 1994. His divorce from her was finalized in 2004 while he was in prison, which is where he met his third and current wife Trina Grimes Scott.

Trina wanted to meet him after reading his life story in a book by biographer Leo Honeycut. She said when that day came, she was pleasantly surprised saying quote, “He was nothing like I expected him to be because he was warm and very loving. I kind of expected him to be a little bit cocky.”

She is 51 years his junior. They starred in a short-lived reality show called “The Governor’s Wife” on A & E and in 2013 Trina gave birth to their son Eli.

In 2014, Edwards made it known he was thinking about running for Congress representing Louisiana’s 6th district, but that would never happen because of his conviction and time served. Without a pardon, he remained ineligible to seek office until 15 years had passed from the end of his sentence.

Reflecting on his life and career, Edwards said quote, “I’ve had a very good life. People have been very kind to me for 45 years and I look back on my life and I realized I’ve made mistakes like everybody does in life.”

Governor Edwin Edwards was 93 years old.

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