EDWIN W. EDWARDS was born on a sharecropper’s farm in Avoyelles Parish, near Marksville, Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University for one year and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he was trained as an aviation cadet in the closing months of World War II. He returned to LSU and received a law degree in 1949 and began law practice in Crowley, Louisiana. His public life started when he was elected to the Crowley City Council in 1954; he spent the next three deades in public office. In the 1950s, he also served as an ad hoc city court judge in Crowley. He served in the state senate from 1964 to 1965 and in the U.S. House of Representatives 1965 to 1972. He was elected governor in 1971 and served two consecutive terms from 1972 to 1980. In 1983 he was elected to a third term and in 1991 won a fourth term as governor. During his tenure, he was the only political leader in the United States to have served in all three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and at all three levels of government (local, state, and national).