Edward Tessier is an American real estate developer, musician and author.
He was born October 13, 1967 in Pomona, California to Victor and Catherine Tessier and attended Damien High School in La Verne. During the summer of his sophomore year at Damien he was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident at the beach but still went on to graduate from Damien as well as, later, Pomona College in Claremont where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was well known in the Inland Empire for his handicapped-rights oriented political activism, including founding the Claremont Colleges' first disabled rights organization, Students for Handicapped Awareness and Personal Equality. He received a commendation from Pope John Paul II in 1988 for his contributions to the community.
Ed and the Tessier family's contributions to their Los Angeles and San Bernardino county communities include property development and philanthropy. In the early 1990s the Tessiers initiated numerous rehabilitation projects in the downtown Pomona, CA area now known as the Pomona Arts Colony, beginning with the opening of the Haven Coffeehouse (managed by Ken Bencomo) in 1993. Expansion included an Arts Center in conjunction with Cal Poly Pomona which became the focal point for an arts and urban planning renaissance in the Inland Empire. The Haven sponsored local and national acts including Beck and Ed's own band The Undertoad. Today Tessier-owned properties include The Pomona Fox Theater and numerous lofts, studios and galleries.
Beyond Pomona, 2007 saw the reopening of Claremont's Padua Hills Theater, the development of lofts in Ontario, and the debut of the Packinghouse venue in the new Claremont Village West area which turned a building once used for packing lemons and oranges in the early 1900s into a commercial venue that includes restaurants, retail, lofts, and the Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue venue. Ed and his family also played a major role in the opening of The School of Arts and Enterprise in Pomona, a State Board of Education-authorized public charter high school for students in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange, focused on the arts and business. In 2017, Tessier continued to champion improvements to the Pomona city area including improvements to the Lincoln Park district. He also performs occasionally at local Claremont,CA music venue The Press.
Tessier sued the City of Pomona because sidewalks were not fitted for his wheel chair. He sued and got $100,000 from the City of Pomona in 2017.