|Name:||John Bel Edwards|
|Birth Day:||September 16, 1966|
|Birth Place:||Amite, Louisiana, U.S., United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Edwards was born in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana on September 16, 1966. He was raised in Amite, Louisiana, the son of Dora Jean (née Miller) and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Frank M. Edwards Jr. John Bel Edwards was born into an economically and politically well-established family in the parish. Before the Civil War, the Edwards family were among the largest slaveowners in the United States, and after the war several of his ancestors were sheriffs before his father. Edwards graduated from Amite High School in 1984 as valedictorian. In 1988, Edwards received a bachelor's degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy, where he was on the Dean's List and served as vice chairman of the panel that enforced the West Point honor code.
Edwards completed Airborne School in 1986, while he was a student at West Point. After receiving his commission, he completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning (1988), Ranger School (1989), and the Infantry Officer Advanced Course (1992). Edwards served in the Army for eight years, mostly in the 25th Infantry Division and 82nd Airborne Division, including commanding a company in the 82nd's 3rd Brigade, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He ended his military career to return to Louisiana because of family considerations. Edwards earned a J.D. degree from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1999, and he was a practicing attorney with the Edwards & Associates Law Firm in Amite. As an attorney, Edwards handled a variety of cases, though he did not practice criminal law because of his brother's status as the local sheriff.
Edwards is a moderate Democrat who strongly believes in government as a beneficent force. In 2007, Edwards ran for a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives and was forced into a general election run-off with fellow attorney George Tucker. Edwards was overwhelmingly elected, winning every parish in the district. Edwards was the only freshman lawmaker to chair a committee in the legislature. Edwards chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House. Edwards was also selected as chairman of the Democratic house caucus, a rarity for a freshman legislator. Edwards became a critic of Governor Bobby Jindal for the governor's frequent trips away from Louisiana to raise political funds for Republicans elsewhere while Louisiana had been reducing its funding for higher education.
In 2011, Edwards was re-elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, having defeated opponent Johnny Duncan, 83 to 17 percent. Edwards served as chairman of the Louisiana House Democratic Caucus, making him the Louisiana House Minority Leader. Cities and towns that Edwards represented included Amite, Greensburg, and Kentwood as well as part of Hammond.
Edwards is the brother of Independence, Louisiana chief of police Frank Millard Edwards, as well as Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel H. Edwards. Edwards is brother-in-law to 21st Judicial District Court Juvenile Judge Blair Downing Edwards, a Republican. In 2011, one of Edwards' brothers, Christopher Edwards, died in a car crash after his vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a UPS truck. In 2014, Edwards and other members of his Tangipahoa Parish political family were inducted as a group into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame Winnfield.
On February 21, 2013, Edwards announced that he would run for governor in 2015. He said that his state needed "a healthy dose of common sense and compassion for ordinary people". The only major Democrat in the race, Edwards polled first in the nonpartisan blanket primary with 444,517 votes (39.9 percent), followed by Vitter, who finished second with 256,300 votes (23 percent). In third place was Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle of Breaux Bridge, who received 214,982 votes (19.3 percent).
On November 5, 2015, Jay Dardenne of Baton Rouge, the outgoing Republican lieutenant governor, who placed fourth in the gubernatorial primary election with 166,656 (15 percent), endorsed Democrat Edwards in the forthcoming race against Vitter. Dardenne made his announcement at "Free Speech Alley" in front of the LSU Student Union building in Baton Rouge.
In the runoff on November 21, 2015, Edwards won the election with 56.1 percent of the vote.
The governor also rescinded another executive order issued in 2015 by his predecessor, Bobby Jindal, which protected businesses and nonprofit organizations who oppose same-sex marriage from being legally punished for holding those views. This order had prohibited state agencies from penalizing businesses and individuals who act from a "religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman."
Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association entered the Louisiana campaign in support of Vitter with an advertisement highlighting Edwards' past support for President Barack Obama, who twice lost Louisiana's electoral votes. Edwards was a delegate for Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Edwards supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
On April 13, 2016, Edwards signed an executive order to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from harassment or job dismissals. The order prohibits state agencies from discrimination based on either gender identity or sexual orientation. The order allows an exception for religious organizations who claim that compliance would violate their religious beliefs. "We respect our fellow citizens for their beliefs, but we do not discriminate based on our disagreements. I believe in giving every Louisianan the opportunity to be successful and to thrive in our state," Edwards said.
In 2016, Edwards enacted Medicaid expansion. By the next year, the number of Louisiana individuals without health insurance was cut in half (11.4%, which was down from 22.7%). According to a study conducted by LSU's E.J. Ourso College of Business, Edwards' expansion of Medicaid made over 500,000 more adults eligible for Medicaid, of whom 327,000 were uninsured.
Edwards promised early in 2017 that he could work with the incoming Donald Trump administration. He expressed eagerness to work with the Trump Cabinet, particularly on the issues of Medicaid expansion and federal infrastructure projects.
In January 2017, Edwards traveled to Italy on a personal trip to discuss ways to combat human trafficking. Edwards traveled with sisters of the Hospitaller Sisters of Mercy who established a shelter in Baton Rouge for child victims of human trafficking. Edwards met with Pope Francis during the trip.
Edwards campaigned on a policy to reduce the prison population in Louisiana. One of his first actions as governor was to commute 22 sentences out of 56 that the state's Board of Pardons had identified for him. Since the end of 2016 and to July 2018, Edwards did not sign a single commutation despite at least 70 cases that the state's Board of Pardons identified for him during the period. In 2018, Edwards signed legislation that shortened the sentences for nonviolent, non-sex-crime offenders who showed good behavior while in prison.
In May 2018, Edwards, who is pro-life, signed a bill into law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In May, 2019, he signed an even more restrictive "fetal heartbeat" bill although a similar bill in the 5th Circuit, one with a similar predecessor, was blocked by Judge Carlton Reeves, in the Southern District of Mississippi. In response to backlash from his more progressive supporters, Edwards released a statement in which he said, "As governor, I have been true to my word and my beliefs on this issue. But it is also my sincere belief that being pro-life means more than just being pro-birth." He continued his statement by referencing his attempts to expand investment in education, reform Louisiana's criminal justice system, pass laws that would protect LGBT citizens from discrimination in the workplace, raise the minimum wage, and ensure equal pay between men and women.
Edwards won the GTT Golf Tournament run by his West Point classmates on March 16, 2019. This is his second tournament win.
Currently, John Bel Edwards is 55 years, 0 months and 6 days old. John Bel Edwards will celebrate 56th birthday on a Friday 16th of September 2022.
Find out about John Bel Edwards birthday activities in timeline view here.