Cate Edwards

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Cate Edwards
Cate and Kate Tour 11-9&10 (2048318677) (cropped1).jpg
Catharine Elizabeth Edwards

(1982-03-04) March 4, 1982 (age 38)
Alma materPrinceton University (AB)
Harvard University (JD)
OccupationAttorney, author
Years active2004–present
Spouse(s)Trevor Upham (2011–present)
Parent(s)John Edwards
Elizabeth Edwards (deceased)

Catharine Elizabeth Edwards (born March 4, 1982) is an American attorney. Edwards is the daughter of former United States Senator John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards.

Early life[edit]

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, where her parents were practicing attorneys, Edwards was educated in the Wake County Public School System. She attended Aldert Root Elementary School, Daniels Middle School, and Needham B. Broughton High School, where she graduated at the top of her class.[1] In high school, she played soccer, basketball and softball, and was named All-Conference and Most Valuable Player her senior year. Her siblings are: Wade (1979–1996), Emma Claire (born 1998), Jack (born 2000).

Edwards attended Princeton University, majoring in Political Economics, and graduating with honors. She is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and was an intern for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Political activity and career[edit]

Edwards campaigning for her father in 2008

In 2004, Edwards accompanied her father on the campaign trail and campaigned on his behalf while he pursued the Democratic presidential nomination, a venture that ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.[2][3][4]

After the presidential election, she lived in New York City and worked as an Editorial Assistant for Vanity Fair. While in New York, she and co-worker Jessica Flint founded an online Rolodex called UrbanistaOnline to help young newcomers settle into New York. In 2004, she also became a member of the Board of Directors of the youth voter initiative, Generation Engage, and is an active voice in youth politics. She was an active campaigner during her father's 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the fall of 2012, she returned to the college campus of Winthrop University, where she spoke to students about the importance of voting and the necessity of refusing to be bystander in our democracy.[5]

Edwards entered Harvard Law School in the Fall 2006. In the summer after her first year in law school, she worked as intern to Nina Totenberg at NPR. In fall 2007, she became a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Edwards graduated from Harvard Law in 2009. She then moved to Washington, D.C. and served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of Eastern District of Virginia before joining a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C. She temporarily left the practice of law in May 2011, after the death of her mother, Elizabeth, to start a foundation in her mother's honor.[6] She returned to the practice of law in mid-2012 and is now a Partner at Edwards Kirby, the law firm of her father and attorneys, David Kirby and William Bystrynski.[7]

Gay marriage stance[edit]

Early in the 2004 presidential campaign, Edwards became the first family member of the Democratic candidates to state that she was in favor of legalizing gay marriage. On September 30, 2007, during a campaign stop with actor James Denton, she was quoted by CNN as saying: "I'm on my mom's side with this, not my dad's. It's the word 'marriage' that he is hung up on". The news organization then went on to state in its report that John Edwards "does not support gay marriage, but his wife, Elizabeth, does".[8] (John Edwards supported civil unions, while Elizabeth Edwards had stated that she supported gay marriage.) She also declared her support for Trevor Thomas, an openly gay candidate for U.S. Congress in Michigan.[9] As part of her former law practice at Edwards and Eubanks, she represented clients faced with discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

Personal life[edit]

Edwards married her longtime boyfriend, cardiothoracic surgeon Trevor Upham, in October 2011.[10] They have two sons together.

Cate Edwards stood by her father, John Edwards, as he faced felony charges of conspiracy, false statements, and campaign law violations for the cover-up of $925,000 in illicit campaign contributions.[11] John Edwards was acquitted on one federal count on May 31, 2012, while a jury deadlocked on five other counts.


  1. ^ "John Edwards for President-Cate". John Edwards for President. Archived from the original on March 2, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  2. ^ Mcgregor, Lindsay (February 3, 2004). "Cate Edwards campaigns for her dad". Daily Princetonian. Archived from the original on August 28, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  3. ^ "Transcript: Cate Edwards's Remarks to DNC". Washington Post. July 28, 2004. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  4. ^ "Transcript: Cate Edwards does a whistle stop at UNCP". University of North Carolina at Pembroke. October 5, 2004. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2007.
  5. ^ Tucker, Neely (June 29, 2014). "The Trials of Cate Edwards". Washington Post, USA. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Elizabeth Edwards Foundation | Educational Opportunities and Support for Youth". Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  7. ^ "Our Team | Edwards Kirby | Raleigh Injury Attorneys". Edwards Kirby. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Cate Edwards: On gay issue I'm with mom, not dad". CNN. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Cate Edwards and Trevor Upham: Married!". The Hollywood Gossip. October 23, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  11. ^ Rochman, Bonny "The Good Daughter: Cate Edwards Stands By Her Indicted Father", Time: Healthland, June 6, 2011, accessed June 6, 2011.

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