Ballot Box

Profile: John Edwards

This week, Slate begins a series of short features explaining who the 2004 presidential candidates are, what they’ve said and done, and where they propose to take the country. The first installment summarizes each candidate’s personal and professional background. Today’s subject is John Edwards.

Johnny Reid Edwards

Web site:

Age: 49 (born June 10, 1953).

Highest grade completed: Law school (1977).

Political experience: U.S. senator, North Carolina (1999-present).

Asserted achievements: Co-authored Patients’ Bill of Rights; wrote bioterrorism and port security measures that were passed by the Senate.

Previous jobs: Lawyer in private practice (1978-1998).

Spouse: Elizabeth Edwards.

Children: College-aged daughter, toddler daughter, toddler son. Fourth child, a boy, died in a 1996 car accident at age 16.

Previous marriages: None.

Military history: None. Didn’t turn 18 until June 1971.

Medical history: None reported.

Parents’ jobs: Father worked in a textile mill, eventually becoming a supervisor. Mother operated a small business and later worked in a post office.

Net worth:   $8.7 million-$36.5 million.

Religion: Methodist.

Campaign song: Small Town” (John Mellencamp).