Governor, State of Louisiana
On January 11, 2016, Governor John Bel Edwards was sworn in as the 56th Governor of Louisiana.
He is a 1988 Dean’s List graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he was chosen by his classmates as the Vice Chairman of the Honor Committee In Charge of Investigations. After eight years of active duty with the US Army as an Airborne Ranger, culminating with command of a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
With a father who was the elected Sheriff of Tangipahoa Parish – the Edwards family has four generations of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs in their family lineage with John Bel’s brother Daniel currently serving as Sheriff – John Bel learned the importance of public service at an early age.
His Catholic upbringing and strong family ties have shaped both his commitments to his own community as well as his family. John Bel’s mother taught him both the compassion he demonstrates as a legislator and his belief in the power of prayer. Meanwhile, his family credits his father with ensuring that John Bel carefully considers all sides of an issue before making difficult decisions on behalf of his constituents. This compassion and good judgment, coupled with his ability to understand the details of legislation, has made him a force to be reckoned with among his colleagues in the Louisiana Legislature.
John Bel is married to his high-school sweetheart, First Lady Donna Hutto Edwards. They have three children, Samantha, Sarah Ellen, and John Miller.