Four-term serving Louisiana governor dies aged 93 of respiratory problems at his home in Gonzales, southeast of Baton Rouge, Edwin Edwards was a flamboyant poker player, who helped bring gambling in Louisiana.
In his death, Edwards was under hospice care. He died shortly after daybreak with family and friends around him. Though Edward was convicted for corruption and rogue behavior, his supporters continue to view him as a favorable governor who elevated the downtrodden and marginalized.
Edward was an ardent follower of populist politician Huey Long, and he adopted his philosophy in his government job to serve the needy and not the greedy. In a statement, family spokesman Lee Honeycutt revealed how Edwards’s recently recalled his love for Louisiana.
“I have lived a good life, had better breaks than most, had some bad breaks, too, but that’s all part of it. I tried to help as many people as I could and I hope I did that, and I hope, if I did, that they will help others, too.”
Edwards set up a mechanism to legalize casinos gambling in 1991 after defeating Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Now, the state has 13 riverboat casinos and one land-based casino in New Orleans.
In 2000, Edwards was found guilty of 17 counts of racketeering, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. Edwards was released in 2011, and he married Tina Grimes, his prison pen pal as his third wife.