Cate Edwards

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This article is about the American attorney. For the English historian, see Catharine Edwards (historian).
Cate Edwards
Cate Edwards.jpg
Born Catharine Elizabeth Edwards
(1982-03-04) March 4, 1982 (age 34)
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Occupation Attorney, author
Years active 2004–present
Spouse(s) Trevor Upham (2011–present)
Children Wade Wall Upham (born 2016)
Parent(s) John Edwards
Elizabeth Edwards (deceased)

Catharine Elizabeth "Cate" Edwards (born March 4, 1982) is an American attorney. She is the daughter of former Senator (D-NC) John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards. She gave eulogies after her brother Wade's death and after her mother Elizabeth's death. She frequently spoke for the family during her mother's final days and upon her death, and was widely admired as the public face of the family during these events.

Early life[edit]

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, where her parents were both practicing attorneys, Cate 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).

Cate 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]

In 2004, Cate Edwards actively campaigned with her father on his unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.[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 again an active campaigner for her father's 2008 run 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 refusing to be bystander in our democracy.[5]

Edwards entered Harvard Law School in 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 clerked for federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of Eastern District of Virginia before joining a civil rights law firm in 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 managing attorney of the San Diego office of 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, Georgetown Surgical Resident Trevor Upham, in October 2011.[10] They welcomed their first child, Wade Wall Upham, on July 21, 2016.

Cate 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] He was acquitted on one federal count May 31, 2012, while a jury deadlocked on five others.


  1. ^ "John Edwards for President-Cate". John Edwards for President. Retrieved March 4, 2007. 
  2. ^ Mcgregor, Lindsay (February 3, 2004). "Cate Edwards campaigns for her dad". Daily Princetonian. 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. Retrieved March 4, 2007. 
  5. ^
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  8. ^ "Cate Edwards: On gay issue I'm with mom, not dad". CNN. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  9. ^
  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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