Friday, Sep 27th, 2019
Jack Edwards was a member of the law firm of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC in Mobile, Alabama. After twenty years in the U.S. House of Representatives he voluntarily retired from Congress in 1985 to return to the practice of law.
Mr. Edwards had a unique and distinguished career in public life. While in the Congress he was on the Appropriations Committee where he served for many years on the Transportation Subcommittee. He was best known, however, as an expert on National Defense having been the senior Republican for ten years on the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. He also served on the House Banking Committee.
He was elected Secretary of the House Republicans September, 1972, and elevated in June, 1979 to Vice Chairman by unanimous vote. He served under five Presidents from Lyndon Johnson through Ronald Reagan’s first term; and as a Republican leader in the House of Representatives, he was one of eight elected leaders who met with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan every week. He acted as coordinator of the successful effort in Washington to assure construction funds for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
In the years after his return to Mobile, Mr. Edwards continued his public service as Chairman of the Board of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the boards of the Mobile Opera, Mobile Economic Development Council and many other civic boards and committees. He served on the Mayor’s Waterfront Advisory Committee. He was named Alabama’s Volunteer Industrial Developer of the Year in 1987. In 1985, he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor and was honored as Mobilian of the Year for 1987. In 2005 he was inducted into The University of Alabama College of Communications and Information Sciences Hall of Fame. He served on the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System from 1988 to 1999 and was President Pro Tem of the Board when he retired. He served on the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority from 1987 to 1996 and, in 1988, served as Co-Chairman of the Defense Secretary’s Commission on Base Realignment and Closure, known as BRAC I because it was the first such commission. In recent years Edwards devoted himself to constitutional reform, education, the environment, and economic development in the Mobile area.
In addition to his law practice and his public service work, Mr. Edwards also served on the corporate boards of The Southern Company, Holcim Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, QMS, Inc., Dravo Corporation, The Aerospace Corporation, and Collegiate Housing Foundation. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1946-1948 and 1950-1951.
To read his obituary, click here.