Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards is dead at 93

FILE PHOTO: Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards looks on as he announces his run for congress in Baton Rouge, Louisiana March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

(Reuters) -Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards died on Monday at the age of 93, the current governor, John Bel Edwards, said in a statement.

“Edwin was a larger than life figure known for his wit and charm, but he will be equally remembered for being a compassionate leader who cared for the plight of all Louisianans,” the statement said. The statement did not cite a cause of death.

Edwards, a Democrat, announced on July 5 that he had entered hospice care after suffering respiratory problems for several years, according to media reports.

He served in the state legislature and U.S. House of Representatives early in his political career before going on to run for Louisiana governor, taking office in 1972 for the first of four terms.

Edwards was convicted in May 2000 of extortion in the awarding of state casino licenses, ending a lengthy pursuit by prosecutors that according to his own count had made him the subject of 22 public corruption investigations over the years.

Sentenced to 10 years, he went to prison in 2002 but was paroled in 2011 after serving eight. He ran once more for a U.S. House seat in 2014, at the age of 87, but lost.

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