John Edwards is an American politician, first as a one-term U.S. Senator from North Carolina, then the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 Presidential election.
Edwards was born on June 10, 1953 to Wallace Reid Edwards and Catharine Juanita "Bobbie" Wade in Seneca, South Carolina. The family moved several times during Edwards' childhood, eventually settling in Robbins, North Carolina. A football star in high school, Edwards was the first person in his family to attend college. Edwards graduated with high honors earning a bachelor's degree in textile technology in 1974, and later earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) with honors. After law school, The Edwards family returned to North Carolina in 1981, settling in the capital of Raleigh where he joined the firm of Tharrington, Smith & Hargrove.
Edwards won election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Senator Lauch Faircloth and served until 2004. After withdrawing from the U.S. Presidential race in 2004, front runner John Kerry announced Edwards as his running mate for Vice President. The decision was widely hailed in public opinion polls and by Democratic leaders. Though many Democrats supported Edwards' nomination, others criticized the selection for Edwards' perceived lack of experience. The democratic ticket lost to the incumbent Bush administration in the 2004 presidential elections.
On December 28, 2006, John Edwards officially announced his candidacy for President in the 2008 election from the yard of a home in New Orleans, Louisiana that was being rebuilt after it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Edwards has stated that his main goals are eliminating poverty, fighting global warming, providing universal health care, and withdrawing troops from Iraq.