Former Governor Edwin Edwards will lie in honor Saturday at Louisiana State Capitol
Former Gov. Edwin Edwards will lie in honor from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday at the Louisiana State Capitol, where the public will be able to pay its respects to the state's only four-term governor.
Edwards died Monday after entering hospice a week earlier. He was 93.
A private funeral for family and close friends is tentatively set for 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at the Old Louisiana State Capitol.
Family spokesman Leon Honeycutt, who is also Edwards' biographer, said Sunday's arrangements haven't been finalized, but the service will be streamed on Facebook and other platforms.
Edwards, the state’s last populist Democratic governor in the tradition of Huey Long and Earl Long, served consecutive terms from 1972 to 1980 and single terms from 1984 to 1988 and 1992 to 1996.
He also served a stint in federal prison on bribery and corruption charges.
He was also state senator from Crowley and represented Acadiana in Congress from 1965 to 1972.
“I’ve had a great life,” Edwards said in an interview with USA Today Network on his 90th birthday in 2017. “I've been around the world six times and in every state and there's not a better place in America and the world than Louisiana.”
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards called Edwards "a giant."
"Gov. Edwards was a fervent supporter of civil rights and ensured that his administration was as diverse as Louisiana, a commitment I have also made as governor," Edwards said. "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. Our state has lost a giant, and we will miss him dearly."
After he was released from prison in 2012 Edwards married his third wife Trina, who was a half-century younger than him. The couple moved to Gonzales where they have been raising their young son Eli, who is 7.
“His last words were to Eli. Eli told him every night, ‘I love you.’ And he told Eli, ‘I love you, too.’ Those were his last words,” Trina Edwards said.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1