Louisiana Political
Hall of Fame

Inductees

2024 Inductee

John Bel Edwards

John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s 56th Governor, embodies a life dedicated to service. John was the seventh of eight children born in Tangipahoa Parish to Sheriff Frank Jr. and Dora Jean Edwards.  His journey began at West Point, graduating in 1988 before serving as an Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army for eight years, eventually commanding a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.  Returning home, Edwards pursued law, establishing a practice in Amite. He had cultivated a passion for community early on in his life and his public service continued with eight years in the Louisiana House of Representatives, representing various regions. His leadership skills were evident as the only freshman lawmaker to chair a committee, specifically the Veterans Affairs Committee. He later became the House Minority Leader and in 2016, he assumed the governorship, securing re-election in 2019.  Edwards’ tenure marked significant milestones, notably expanding Medicaid coverage, lowering the state’s uninsured rate, and navigating fiscal challenges. He championed comprehensive criminal justice reform, focusing on rehabilitation and victim services while spearheading initiatives addressing climate change and clean energy all while addressing challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and hurricanes.  

 

 Under his leadership, Louisiana prioritized education, infrastructure, and economic diversification, culminating in record-low unemployment rates and a vision to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. After concluding his term on January 8, 2024, Edwards has left a lasting impact on Louisiana politics and governance.

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