Mickey Edwards

Last updated
Mickey Edwards
Mickey Edwards at OETA.jpg
Edwards on A Conversation With... (2013)
Chair of the
House Republican Policy Committee
In office
January 3, 1989 January 3, 1993
Leader Bob Michel
Preceded by Jerry Lewis
Succeeded by Henry Hyde
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Oklahoma's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1977 January 3, 1993
Preceded by John Jarman
Succeeded by Ernest Istook
Personal details
Marvin Henry Edwards

(1937-07-12) July 12, 1937 (age 81)
Cleveland, Ohio
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Sue Lindley, Lisa Reagan, Elizabeth Sherman, and 2 others
Alma mater University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City University School of Law

Marvin Henry "Mickey" Edwards (born July 12, 1937) is a former Republican congressman who served Oklahoma's 5th congressional district from 1977 to 1993.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

Oklahoma State of the United States of America

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.


Edwards was a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation and national chairman of the American Conservative Union. He taught at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School and was a regular commentator for NPR's All Things Considered .

American Conservative Union American political organization

The American Conservative Union (ACU) is an American political organization that advocates for conservative policies, ranks politicians based on their level of conservatism, and organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference. Founded in 1964, it is the oldest such conservative lobbying organization in the country. The ACU is concerned with what they define as foundations of conservatism, issues such as personal liberty or freedom, foreign policy, and traditional values.

Harvard Law School law school in Cambridge

Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest continuously operating law school in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. It is ranked first in the world by the QS World University Rankings and the ARWU Shanghai Ranking.

<i>All Things Considered</i> news program on the American network National Public Radio (NPR)

All Things Considered (ATC) is the flagship news program on the American network National Public Radio (NPR). It was the first news program on NPR, premiering on May 3, 1971. It is broadcast live on NPR affiliated stations in the United States, and worldwide through several different outlets, formerly including the NPR Berlin station in Germany. All Things Considered and Morning Edition were the highest rated public radio programs in the United States in 2002 and 2005. The show combines news, analysis, commentary, interviews, and special features, and its segments vary in length and style. ATC airs weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (live) or Pacific Standard Time or from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. A weekend version of ATC, Weekend All Things Considered, airs on Saturdays and Sundays.

Early life and career

Edwards was born July 12, 1937, in Cleveland, Ohio. [1] He earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 1958 and a J.D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1969, and was admitted to the Oklahoma bar in 1970. Edwards served as a newspaper reporter and editor from 1958 to 1963, engaged in advertising and public relations from 1963 to 1968 and was a magazine editor from 1968 to 1973. [1] From 1973 to 1974 he served as a legislative assistant for the Republican Steering Committee in Washington, D.C., and he was an instructor in law and journalism at Oklahoma City University in 1976.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

University of Oklahoma public research university in Norman, Oklahoma, United States

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public research university in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it had existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. In Fall 2018 the university had 31,702 students enrolled, most at its main campus in Norman. Employing nearly 3,000 faculty members, the school offers 152 baccalaureate programs, 160 master's programs, 75 doctorate programs, and 20 majors at the first professional level.

Juris Doctor The Juris Doctor degree (J.D. or JD), also known as the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (J.D., JD, D.Jur. or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degree

The Juris Doctor degree, also known as the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree and sometimes erroneously rendered as "Juris Doctorate," is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The Juris Doctor is earned by completing law school in Australia, Canada, the United States, and some other common law countries. It has the academic standing of a professional doctorate in the United States, a master's degree in Australia, and a second-entry, baccalaureate degree in Canada.

Political career

Congressman Edwards Mickey Edwards.jpg
Congressman Edwards

In 1974, Edwards challenged 24-year Democratic incumbent John Jarman and nearly won, holding Jarman to 51 percent of the vote in what was mostly a bad year for Republicans. However, Oklahoma City had been trending Republican for some time. Edwards campaign slogan was "Take a bite out of Big Government," and featured Edwards biting an apple on camera.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

John Jarman Son of John Henry Jarman I and Gran.

John Jarman was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma for 26 years from 1951 to 1977.

Jarman switched parties and became a Republican in January 1975 in protest of several older, more conservative Democrats being stripped of their committee chairmanships. He did not run for reelection in 1976. Edwards defeated former state attorney general G. T. Blankenship for the Republican nomination, and narrowly defeated Democratic businessman Tom Dunlap, son of academic E. T. Dunlap, by 3,900 votes. However, he would never face another general election contest anywhere near that close, and was reelected seven times.

G. T. Blankenship is an American lawyer and Republican politician from Oklahoma. A former member and minority leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, he initiated the investigation of corruption on the Oklahoma Supreme Court that resulted in the removal of three justices during the mid 1960s and changing the process by which future justices would be selected. Leaving the House to run for higher office, Blankenship served as the 10th Attorney General of Oklahoma. After serving as Attorney General, he entered private law practice in Oklahoma City and served two terms on the University of Oklahoma's Board of Regents.

During Edwards’s 16 years in Congress, he served variously on the House Budget and Appropriations committees and was the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. He was also a member of the House Republican leadership, serving as the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, the party's fourth-ranking leadership position. However, in 1992, he was defeated in the Republican primary—the real contest in this now-heavily Republican district. He didn't even make the runoff, finishing third behind State Representative Ernest Istook (who went on to win in November) and former federal prosecutor Bill Price. Edwards' loss was due mostly to his involvement in the House banking scandal; he wrote some 386 overdrafts totaling $54,000. [2]

United States House Committee on the Budget Standing committee of the United States House of Representatives

The United States House Committee on the Budget, commonly known as the House Budget Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Its responsibilities include legislative oversight of the federal budget process, reviewing all bills and resolutions on the budget, and monitoring agencies and programs funded outside of the budgetary process. The committee briefly operated as a select committee in 1919 and 1921, during the 66th and 67th United States Congresses, before being made a standing committee in 1974.

The United States House Committee on Appropriations is a committee of the United States House of Representatives.

Ernest Istook U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma

Ernest James "Ernie" Istook Jr. is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma's 5th congressional district. He held his congressional seat for 14 years, completing seven terms in the House. Currently, Istook is a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and also a talk radio host. In 2010, Istook became a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School leading a study on Propaganda in American Politics.

Edwards was one of three founding trustees of the Heritage Foundation and national chairman of the American Conservative Union. Along with former White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler, he has served as co-chairman of Citizens for Independent Courts, a national organization devoted to preserving judicial independence, and co-chairman with another former White House Counsel, Abner Mikva, of Citizens for the Constitution, a national organization concerned with limiting the use of constitutional amendments as a substitute for the normal legislative process. Edwards has also served as co-chairman of a Brookings Institution/Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on Resources for International Affairs as well as the Brookings Working Group on Campaign Finance Reform and for five years as chairman of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. He has served on the board of directors of the Constitution Project and was the director of the congressional policy task forces advising Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign.

In a radio interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on November 5, 2008, Edwards said that he had voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 general election. [3]

Academic career

After leaving Congress, Edwards taught at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School for 11 years, where he was the first John Quincy Adams Lecturer in Legislative Politics. He taught courses on Congress, political leadership, issue advocacy, election strategies, conservative political theory, and the constitutional separation of powers. In 1997, he was selected by students as the outstanding teacher in the Kennedy School. He has also served as a visiting professor at Georgetown University.

Edwards was a Lecturer of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a member of the Princeton Project on National Security. He taught courses on "How to Win Elections" and "Congress and the Constitution." He is also a Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership.

As of 2009, Edwards teaches courses on National Security Policy and the Politics of U.S. Foreign Policy at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. In 2013 Edwards was appointed a National Constitution CenterPenn Law Visiting Fellow.

Author and commentator

As a notable dissident Republican leader often critical of Republican officeholders, Edwards has been a regular political commentator on NPR's All Things Considered . His newspaper columns have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times , for which he has been a regular weekly columnist, and frequently in such other publications as the New York Times , Washington Post , Boston Globe , San Francisco Examiner , Miami Herald and Wall Street Journal . A well-known public speaker, he has spoken on many college campuses, including Boston College, Tulane University, West Point, University of Notre Dame, Duke University, Grinnell College, New York University, MIT, Georgetown University, American University, University of Southern California, the University of Iowa, the University of Texas, and many others.

Edwards has also authored numerous books and articles: "The Modern Conservative Movement" (2006), "Is Congress Gaining the Upper Hand? – Or is the Power of the President Dominant – A Century Foundation Essay," (2003), "Foreign Assistance and Foreign Policy (The Heritage Lectures)" (1987), "Behind Enemy Lines: A Rebel in Congress Proposes a Bold New Politics for the 1980s" (1983), "Hazardous to Your Health: A New Look at the Health Care Crisis in America" (1972). He co-authored "Winning the Influence Game: What Every Business Leader Should Know About Government" (2001) and "Financing America’s Leadership: Protecting American Interests and Promoting American Values" (1997). "Reclaiming Conservatism" was issued in February, 2008, by Oxford University Press. His latest book, "The Parties Vs. the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans" (2012), is published by Yale University Press.

In 2009, along with former Congressman Chris Shays from Connecticut, Edwards criticized the Republican Party for neglecting what they characterized as the constitutional abuses perpetrated by the George W. Bush administration. [4]


Edwards was born in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on July 12, 1937, and spent most of his early years in the southside Capitol Hill section of Oklahoma City, where his father, Eddie Edwards, managed a shoe store. Edwards was shot three times while working at the family shoe store, according to the Daily Oklahoman. He has one sister, Sheila Braithwaite, who lives in Sacramento, California.

Edwards has been married and divorced 5 times. He was previously married to Miss Oklahoma Lisa Reagan, a singer and composer from Oklahoma City. [5] Edwards is presently married to Elizabeth A. Sherman, a professor of politics at American University. Edwards is Jewish. [6] [7]

Edwards has three children and four grandchildren.

See also

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  1. 1 2 Kosmerick, Todd J. "Edwards, Marvin Henry," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture Archived 2010-05-31 at the Wayback Machine (accessed May 22, 2013)
  2. THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Primaries; Oklahoma Congressman Is Loser In Race Tainted by Bank Scandal, The New York Times, 8/27/92
  3. The Future Of The Conservative Movement, Series: Fresh Air, NPR, WHYY, November 5, 2008, Transcript (accessed May 22, 2013)
  4. Stein, Sam (July 16, 2009). "Former GOP Congressmen Accuse Republicans Of Putting Party Above Constitution". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  5. "Ex-wives of Edwards: He's No Womanizer". 1992-06-07. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  6. Retrieved from the Atlantic website May 5, 2010
  7. Stone, Kurt F. "The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members, (2011). Pages 313–320. ISBN   9780810857315.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Jarman
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Ernest Istook