Edwin Edwards: The Controversy and the Facts

Profiled more times by 60 Minutes than any other governor in history, Edwin Edwards did not run from controversy, he embraced it.  The quickest mind in politics, drafted once to run for president, elected governor four times, and friend of nearly every president since John Kennedy, as Louisiana’s fortunes dropped, however, so did those of the Cajun Prince.  Author Leo Honeycutt has painstakingly recreated the Edwards years and especially his 2000 trial.  Was Edwards guilty of corruption or merely arrogance?  Honeycutt clears the air with facts, only to expose what really changed Louisiana and is changing America.

One wonders if Edwin Edwards were the CEO of a business how he would fare today. After being crushed in the 2014 election to represent Louisiana's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, it looks as if his days as a politician may be over. However, as a CEO, perhaps of a non profit business, he could use his acumen and connections to do good and effect change on a different level. Since he's a smart man he would recognize the necessity of having a robust CRM (customer relationship management system). He would probably choose Salesforce,  the world’s #1 CRM platform that employees can access entirely over the Internet. Since Salesforce has dozens of configuration options, yet when the need arises a Salesforce customization team can also address the unique needs of a business, no doubt Edwards would see and understand the main advantages of this cloud based software. Salesforce's custom applications with attributes that help increase a user's productivity, improve data quality, while automating manual processes are not to be dismissed particularly when they can be easily scaled as an organization grows. Hopefully Edwards will connect with some organization or business who can utilize his unique skills. We are waiting to see where he will next show up.

“Leo Honeycutt teaches us more about the most stunningly powerful Louisiana politician of our time.  Engaging, well-written, captivating –you won’t put it down.”
—Dr. Wayne Parent, LSU Political Science

“We always knew Edwin would dance with the law, but thought he’d outsmart them.  Honeycutt tells us we were wrong, after intense research added to the words of an elegant white-haired prisoner.”
—Earl Casey, CNN Atlanta


News Headlines

Sun-Herald, Biloxi, Miss.

Edwin Edwards Book Hits Shelves Dec 14th

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The official biography of imprisoned former Gov. Edwin Edwards goes on sale this month, after five years of work and with its subject interviewed from federal prison.

Once topping 1,800 pages, “Edwin Edwards: An Authorized Biography” was whittled to 641 pages by author Leo Honeycutt. It hits bookshelves Dec. 14, and Honeycutt promises the book won’t sugarcoat Edwards’ life.


Comment by: Barbara Voinche
said on January 17, 2010 at 10:31 am:

Incredibly interesting and enlightening. I have always thought Governor Edwards, though not without weaknesses, was a true cajun who loved his heritage, his homeland and the people that he represented. This book only deepens my appreciation for him and his family and has opened my eyes to much more than I expected. If I never have another chance to say this, I hope Gov. Edwards will see it….thank you, Sir.


By MELINDA DESLATTE – The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE — At Danny Plaisance’s small independent bookstore the phones are ringing every few minutes, and the cash register and credit card machines are humming.

Edwards Biography Exceeds Expectations

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The newly-released biography of former Governor Edwin Edwards is so popular the book's author can't keep it on store shelves.

It comes down to supply and demand. Leo Honeycutt, the author of 'Edwin Edwards, the Authorized Biography,' ordered 10,000 copies of the book. He thought that number would be enough to last stores for about four months. He was quite wrong.

"I never really considered it was going to be such a best seller, I really didn't," Honeycutt said. "In fact, I thought we'd be lucky to sell 10,000 books in four months and when we sold out in three days, it was like, 'Whoa!'"

"I had feared that I wasn't going to be able to get a copy, so this is the best thing that's happened to me this year," said one reader.

"I don't think I've ever seen a book in more demand in Baton Rouge," said Danny Plaisance, owner of Cottonwood Books. "I've been in business for 23 years and nothing comes close to this."

Plaisance has already sold about 1,000 copies of the Edwards biography and started a waiting list for those who missed out before they were gone. He said there are almost 100 people on the list.

"I tried a couple weeks ago after it came out, but they were all gone," said one customer.

Honeycutt first thought readers' dislike for some of Edwards' actions would stop them from buying his book. Instead, it's what seems to attract them.

"I think he was a fascinating guy, I really do," said another customer.

The readers are literally buying Honeycutt's books straight out of the boxes. He credits the popularity to not just an interest in the former governor, but in what happened. Online vendors are even starting to sell the book for three times its face value. One listing on Amazon.com prices it at $99.

"I can't even afford my own book unsigned! Figure that out," Honeycutt blurted out jokingly.

The Barnes and Noble on Corporate Boulevard has been out of the biography since Dec. 20, but those who did get the book also got a warning. It states: Do NOT send your copy of the book to federal prison. It could get disposed of.

Federal officials say for safety reasons, hardback books are not allowed in prison. Also, in this case, Edwards is not authorized to autograph anything until his release in 2011.

"Lets make this clear. Do not send your book to the prison because they will likely throw it away," Honeycutt added.

Those interested can still get the author's autograph though. He just ordered 25,000 more books for January. So far, the only store in the Baton Rouge area with the biography back in stock is Cottonwood Books on Perkins Road.


Important Notice

Because of rules and regulations of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, please DO NOT SEND this book or any others to Governor Edwards at Oakdale Federal Detention Center for his signature. If you do, Bureau of Prisons officials have the option of disposing of the book or returning it to you at your expense. Governor Edwards will be available for signing his biography when he is released in 2011. Thank you for your cooperation.

On Sale Now

Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana is now available for sale online.
Price: $28.95 .   
Free domestic shipping within Continental U.S. International shipping rates apply



said on December 5, 2009 at 6:04 am:

I have admired Governor Edwards from his early days as a then resident of Crowely, La. I think if you look at the entire spectrum of the man and what he did for the state of Louisiana you would have a different perspective of him. As we now see, politics can be a dangerous game. I have to believe that the federal government had a bit of vindictiveness in their approach and sentencing of Governer Edwards. He was the epitome of rags to riches for many Cajuns. Not only in wealth but in power and his ability to use charismatic approach to manuveur through the dips and valleys of his life.


said on December 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm:

I was a woman working for NBC with no political background when I first met Edwin Edwards. I was acting as a go-for for one of his finance people during the 1984 campagne which brought me in contact with him. Like everyone who has ever met Edwin Edwards you are immediately taken by his quick wit and intelligence. I worked the legislature during two of Edwin’s administrations. I was nobody of importance, but even I could arrange to have a brief meeting with the Governor. Edwin was the last Governor who was completely accessable to the public and always open to discussion about any issues. Speaking for myself, he was always open and forth rite. Yes, he is a very attractive man, yet I never understood why so many considered him such a ladies man. If that were true he was never public about it. Actually, It was the men who showed the most love for Edwin and wanted to be his close friend. I think they thought they would assume some of his charm and personality by osmosis. From my perspective, those people closest to him assumed more power and authority than they were authorized to use. In every administration you have friends of the Governor who take advantage of their position and his popularity to cut their own deals. While not justifying any wrong, I truly believe Edwin turned a blind eye to those friends who abused his friendship. The Edwin Edwards I know is an honorable man. He has deep and emotional feelings for Louisiana and her people. Who really suffered the most by taking away ten years of his life, Him or Louisiana? The future will tell and hopfully he will be redeemed.


said on December 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm:

Edwin Edwards saved Charity Hospital and gave the teachers their first raise. Had he been Governor during Katrina those busses would have rolled and things would have been a lot better.

George Bush Sr and former Republican Governor wrote George Bush, Jr letters asking him to pardon Governor Edwards but he did not.
Hopefully Governor Edwards will live to finish out his prison sentence and will be able to go home and enjoy the remainder of his life


said on December 8, 2009 at 11:04 am:

Edwin was a friend of my family for years dating back to 1964 when he and my grandfather served together in the senate. Even though my grandfather supported someone else for Gov. when Edwin won in 1971, Edwin never held a grudge, matter of fact they became close friends and Edwin was supported by Paw Paw from that day on. It breaks my heart to see a man that did so much good for this great state and get railroaded like he did. Yes, times have changed and so has our state. We must move on but let us not forget a great Gov. and a friend. We love you Edwin Edwards.


Mary Ann
said on December 27, 2009 at 10:46 am:

I bought my mother this book, and I got one unexpectedly as a gift for Christmas. I LOVE this book. I am not a big reader, but this book is captivating and very interesting. I am from Louisiana, and this book tells all of the details about events that have happened over the years. These are events that I have heard about in the newspaper and on TV, but didn’t really understand. This book fills in all of the “gaps”. Leo Honeycutt is a WONDERFUL writer! The book is easy to read. I am totally fascinated by the accounts of Edwin as a youth and young adult, his courtship of Elaine, his photographic memory, etc. I hate to use a cliche, but “I can’t put this book down!”
Thank you Edwin and Leo for writing this book.
Mary Ann


said on February 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I have just finished reading Edwin’s book. I find it very interesting to read the final explanation of the trial of 2000. I, like so many others knew there was a “get Edwards at any cost” mentality with the US Attorneys. Who would have thought they would have sold their own souls to convict him. I have always believed in our judicial system and that justice prevails. Like Themes I believed justice was blind and every one, regardless of his position in life, gets a fair trial. How naive I was. After reading this book I am experiencing many feelings of guilt, sorrow, anger and disgust. As an advocate for justice I am guilty of not standing guard, speaking out and exposing the indignation which occured in that court room. I cannot express in words how much sorrow I feel for his family to have watched as their loved ones were defiled and degraded in a public forum. My anger is directed towards those who used his misfortune to benefit themselves and in doing so stirred the pot of public confusion against him. My disgust is for those men who I had held in high esteem only to find out they were not above corruption themselves. That they should use their position and authority and join in a conspiracy to diminish the integrity of the courts by controlling and distorting evidence is repulsive and a greater crime than any who have come before them in their courts. I Corinthians: “What does it profit a man to gain the world, if he loses his own soul.” I hope this book will open up the hearts of those who publicly and privately unjustly persecuted Edwin Edwards and they can forgive themselves. I am a wiser person for having read this book.