NEW ORLEANS — Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards has died. But the people closest to Edwards say he had been facing death with a positive spirit.
Exactly one week ago Monday, Edwards decided to begin hospice care at his home in Gonzales.
As the almost 94-year-old entered the next chapter of his life in hospice care, Edwards’s humor was shining through.
Leo Honeycutt, Edwards’ biographer, and the family spokesperson said on Monday Edwards looked at him and said, “You know I’m running, don’t you?” Honeycutt was perplexed, but Edwards said, “I’m running for the bathroom so get out of the way.”
Honeycutt said Edwards continued to talk politics, state government, and history. “He was just joking but said “If you keep treating me this way, you might be wife number four. ‘ He just likes to joke with everyone in the room,” Honeycutt said.
Although Edwards is keeping his spirits up, Honeycutt said he realized how serious his condition is.
“He said, I don’t want anyone to be upset by this or get mournful about it or sad. It’s all just part of it. He said, I’ve lived a good life and have had better breaks than probably most people have had. I’ve had some bad breaks.”
Edwards served as the 50th Governor of Louisiana, for four terms: 1972–1980, 1984–1988, and 1992–1996.
Born in Marksville in Avoyelles Parish during the Great Flood of 1927, in 1944, Edwards joined the U.S. Navy when he was 17 and became a pilot. His squadron was deploying to the Pacific theatre when Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
Edwards graduated from LSU Law School in 1949, served two terms as a Crowley City Councilman in Acadia Parish; one term in the Louisiana Senate as a floor leader for Governor John McKeithen; one term in Congress; and four terms as governor.