Former Louisiana Governor, Edwin Edwards, has sadly died this morning just before 7am. He was 93. Leo Honeycutt, the former governor's biographer confirmed his passing and said the cause of death was due to respiratory issues that had plagued him for the past few years. A month shy of his 94th birthday, Edwards was surrounded by family and friends at his at his home in Gonzales, La when he passed away. July 5, Edwards complained of chest pains and breathing complications and was brought by ambulance to Lady of the Lake St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. According to reports, CAT scan and x-ray results of both lungs came back clear. However, shortly after that visit the former governor placed himself in hospice care.

A Democrat, Edwin Edwards served four terms making him longest-serving Governor in Louisiana history. He also gained national notoriety during the 1991 governor’s race, where he beat former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, a Republican by 1,057,031 votes. The face-off was Louisiana's biggest voter turnout for a gubernatorial election ever.

Current Governor John Bel Edwards ordered flags fly at half-staff until his internment and released the following statement:

"Few people have made such an indelible mark on our state as Governor Edwin Edwards. At just 17, he joined the Navy during World War II, beginning a lifetime of service to his state and country. He represented Louisiana’s 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as the state’s only four-term governor, leading Louisiana through pivotal years of growth including launching efforts to create the state’s current constitution.

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. 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. Donna and I send our deepest condolences to his wife, Trina, family and all who were blessed to call him a friend and ask everyone to join us in praying for God to comfort them during this difficult time."

May he rest in eternal peace. Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

LOOK: Here are the biggest HBCUs in America

More than 100 historically Black colleges and universities are designated by the U.S. Department of Education, meeting the definition of a school "established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans."

StudySoup compiled the 20 largest historically Black colleges and universities in the nation, based on 2021 data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Each HBCU on this list is a four-year institution, and the schools are ranked by the total student enrollment.

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