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Edwin Edwards, a flamboyant, poker-playing former Louisiana governor convicted in a on line casino licensing scheme, died Monday. He was 93.
Gov. Edwin Edwards and Trina Scott Edwards pose in July 2011 after getting married. The previous four-term Louisiana governor died Monday at 93. (Picture: NPR)
The four-term governor died of respiratory issues at his house in Gonzales, simply southeast of Baton Rouge, the state capital. He had been below hospice care and was with household and buddies at his demise shortly after dawn, in accordance with the Related Press.
Regardless of Edwards’ federal conviction and fame for corruption and roguish habits, supporters in his house state considered the Democratic governor favorably as a champion of the downtrodden and marginalized. As a boy, he had seen a speech by populist Louisiana politician Huey Lengthy. From that, Edwards mentioned he adopted a philosophy that it’s the job of presidency to “serve the needy, not the grasping.”
Household spokesman Lee Honeycutt mentioned in a press release that Edwards lately recalled that he liked Louisiana and “at all times will.”
I’ve lived a very good life, had better breaks than most, had some dangerous breaks, too, however that’s all a part of it. I attempted to assist as many individuals as I might and I hope I did that, and I hope, if I did, that they may assist others, too,” Edwards mentioned towards the top of his life, in accordance with Honeycutt.
Trina Scott Edwards, the previous governor’s widow, mentioned her husband’s final phrases have been to their son Eli, who turns eight on Aug. 1.
“Eli advised him each night time, ‘I like you.’ And he advised Eli, ‘I like you, too.’ These have been his final phrases,” she mentioned.
Federal Gaming Conviction
After defeating neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan chief David Duke within the 1991 governor’s race, Edwards “arrange the mechanism” for legalized on line casino playing in Louisiana, in accordance with WWL-TV. The state now has 13 riverboat casinos, one land-based on line casino in New Orleans, and 4 racinos. Sports activities betting lately has been legalized within the state and is predicted to be operational by subsequent 12 months.
In Might 2000, Edwards was convicted for his position within the awarding of riverboat on line casino licenses. A federal jury discovered Edwards responsible on 17 counts of racketeering, mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, and cash laundering, in accordance with information accounts.
San Francisco 49ers proprietor Eddie DeBartolo Jr. testified that he tried to acquire a riverboat on line casino license by giving Edwards a briefcase with $400,000 in money, in accordance with studies. DeBartolo later pleaded responsible and was given two years probation and a $1 million effective. The NFL then pressured DeBartolo to show the soccer crew over to his sister.
After being launched from a federal lockup in 2011, Edwards, then 83, married a jail pen pal, Trina Grimes Scott, then 32. She was his third spouse.
“They despatched me to jail for all times, and I got here out with a handsome spouse,” Edwards quipped.
Las Vegas Playing Losses
Recognized to host $10,000-ante poker video games on the governor’s mansion, Edwards got here below fireplace within the Nineteen Eighties when studies surfaced that he misplaced greater than $2 million throughout 17 journeys to Las Vegas casinos. Throughout these Nevada playing excursions, he used names resembling T. Wong and T. Lee in an effort to cover his id, in accordance with the FBI.
Historian Lawrence Powell referred to as Edwards, “The final of the buccaneer liberals who ruled within the custom of Huey Lengthy,” the Washington Submit reported.
“They have been characterised by a redistributionist politics, the place you would at all times see progress in lifting individuals out of poverty — but it surely was linked to simple political morals,” mentioned Powell, a historical past professor emeritus at Tulane College in New Orleans.
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