Edward I. Edwards

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Edward Irving Edwards
Edward Irving Edwards.jpg
37th Governor of New Jersey
In office
January 20, 1920 – January 15, 1923
Preceded by Clarence Edward Case
as Acting Governor
Succeeded by George Sebastian Silzer
U.S. Senator from New Jersey (Class 1)
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 4, 1929
Preceded by Joseph S. Frelinghuysen
Succeeded by Hamilton F. Kean
Personal details
Born (1863-12-01)December 1, 1863
Jersey City, New Jersey
Died January 26, 1931(1931-01-26) (aged 67)
Jersey City, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Blanche Smith
Religion Episcopalian

Edward Irving Edwards (December 1, 1863 – January 26, 1931) was an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 37th Governor of New Jersey from 1920 to 1923 and in the United States Senate from 1923 to 1929.

Biography[edit]

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1863, Edwards attended the Jersey City public schools and New York University. He later studied law in the office of his brother, William David Edwards, who was also a state senator.[1] On November 14, 1888, he married Blanche Smith. They had two children, Edward Irving, Jr. and Elizabeth Jules. He engaged in banking and in the general contracting business. He later became president and chairman of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Jersey City.

Edwards entered politics and became part of the Democratic Organization, being elected state senator in 1918. He became a friend and close political ally of Mayor Frank "Boss" Hague, who ran the Democratic machine in Hudson County, and later the whole state of New Jersey. Hague supported Edwards's gubernatorial run in 1919.

At the end of his term, forbidden by the state constitution to run for a consecutive term, he ran for the United States Senate in 1922. Campaigning against the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) and with the support of the Hague Democratic Political Machine, Edwards defeated incumbent Republican Joseph S. Frelinghuysen by almost 90,000 votes and served from March 4, 1923, to March 4, 1929.

After six years in the Senate, Edwards ran for re-election against Republican Hamilton Kean in 1928. Kean came out against Prohibition also which hurt Edwards who used his "Applejack Campaign" so successfully in the past. Also, Edwards could not overcome the "Coolidge Prosperity" that was sweeping the country. He lost by over 230,000 votes, having 41.8% of the vote to Kean's 57.8%.

After returning to Jersey City in March 1929, his luck turned for the worse. His wife had died in 1928 and his relationship with Mayor Hague went downhill when Hague supported A. Harry Moore instead of Edwards for governor. He went broke in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and was implicated in an electoral fraud scandal.

Death[edit]

He was diagnosed with skin cancer and shot himself in his Jersey City home. He was 67 years old. He was buried in Bayview Cemetery, Jersey City in the plot of his older brother, William David Edwards, who died in 1916.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Political Graveyard

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Clarence Edward Case
Acting Governor
Governor of New Jersey
January 20, 1920 – January 15, 1923
Succeeded by
George Sebastian Silzer
United States Senate
Preceded by
Joseph S. Frelinghuysen
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New Jersey
March 4, 1923 – March 4, 1929
Succeeded by
Hamilton F. Kean
Party political offices
Preceded by
H. Otto Wittpenn
Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Jersey
1919
Succeeded by
George Sebastian Silzer
Preceded by
James E. Martine
Democratic Nominee for the U.S. Senate (Class 1) from New Jersey
1922, 1928
Succeeded by
A. Harry Moore