37th & 39th New Jersey Governor, US Senator. Born in the Lafayette section of Jersey City, New Jersey in 1863, in 1888, he married Blanche Smith and went on to study law. He then engaged in banking and business, becoming the president of the First National Bank of Jersey City. With the support of his friend, Mayor of Jersey City Frank "Boss" Hague, he won a seat in the New Jersey State Senate. In 1919, he ran for a seat in the New Jersey Legislature. A Democrat, he campaigned as an opponent to Prohibition in what the newspapers called "The Applejack Campaign" and won. He served as the 39th Governor of New Jersey for one term. In the Democratic presidential primaries of 1920, he was a candidate for president, eventually losing out to James M. Cox of Ohio, (in the presidential election of 1920, Cox lost to Republican Warren G. Harding). In 1922, he was elected to the United States Senate, defeating Republican incumbent Joseph S. Frelinghuysen, and served one term to 1929. He won on his Anti-Prohibition platform using the campaign slogan "Wine, Women and Song." This was a remarkable feat considering Harding being in the White House and the country shifting to the Republicans. His famous Anti-Prohibition quote was, "New Jersey wet as the Atlantic Ocean." He was unsuccessful in his bid for reelection in 1928, losing to Republican Hamilton Kean. He wanted to run for Governor again, but Hague backed A. Harry Moore instead. At this point, Edward Edwards’s life started to fall apart. The Great Depression brought bankruptcy and charges of fraud and corruption. His wife died in 1928 and it was discovered that he had developed cancer. In 1931, a depressed Edwards shot and killed himself in his Kensington Avenue apartments in Jersey City.
Bio by: Frank McGady
Jule Blanche Smith Edwards