Elizabeth Edwards's Headshot

Elizabeth Edwards

- Panelist Blurb

Elizabeth Edwards has charmed America with her refreshing down-to-earth personality and inspirational messages while campaigning for her husband John Edwards. She shares her experiences in the recently published Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, an incandescent memoir of her trials, tragedies, and triumphs, and of how various communities celebrated her joys and lent her steady strength and quiet hope in darker times.

Like her husband, Edwards has a deep commitment to improving America's future. A passionate advocate for children and an accomplished attorney, she has been a tireless worker on behalf of important social causes. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, working on healthcare issues.

In 1992, she and her husband established the Vincent J. Anania Lacrosse Scholarship in honor of Elizabeth's father, a former lacrosse player and Assistant Coach at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 1996, they established the Wade Edwards Foundation, in memory of their son. The Foundation runs a statewide short fiction contest for North Carolina's high school juniors and helped build computer learning centers for youngsters in Raleigh and Goldsboro. She volunteers at the learning lab frequently.

Edwards has a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked for the North Carolina Attorney General's office in the early 1980s. From 1984 to 1996, Edwards worked at the Raleigh law firm Merriman, Nicholls, and Crampton. In the early 1990s, Mrs. Edwards taught legal writing at UNC Law School and in 1996-97, she was a member of the first group of Public Fellows at the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC.

The daughter of a decorated Navy pilot, she attended school in Japan, where her father was stationed. Edwards is the proud mother of four children. Her first child, Wade, died in 1996. Despite the demands of raising two young children, Edwards still finds time to participate in community service. She remains active in the Wade Edwards Foundation, and is involved in a variety of charitable efforts. She also serves on several boards, including the UNC Board of Visitors and Books for Kids.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from September 27, 2008.