In Loving Memory
WHEREAS, The State of Texas lost a respected legislator and civil rights leader with the passing of former state representative Al Edwards on April 29, 2020, at the age of 83; and
WHEREAS, Born in Houston on March 19, 1937, Albert Ely Edwards was the son of the Reverend E. L. Edwards Sr. and Josephine Radford Edwards; he grew up with 15 siblings and graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School and Texas Southern University; after winning a discrimination lawsuit, he became the first African American sales representative for General Foods, and he later founded a real estate company; a member of Progressive New Hope Baptist Church for more than 60 years, he became an ordained minister and held a doctor of divinity degree; and
WHEREAS, In 1979, Representative Edwards began his long and accomplished tenure as a state legislator; during his first term, he battled fierce opposition to secure passage of the bill that established June 19 as Emancipation Day, the first official "Juneteenth" state holiday in the nation; he served in numerous leadership roles through the years, including chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and the Rules and Resolutions Committee, and he was instrumental in the process that led to the installation of the Texas African American History Memorial at the State Capitol; he also served on the board of the Democratic National Committee and was national chair and vice chair of the DNC Black Caucus; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Edwards raised a daughter, Rosalind, with his first wife, Katie Edwards, two daughters, Alicia and Marla, with his second wife, Barbara Edwards, and three children, Albert, Jason, and Alana, with his third wife, Lana Cloth Edwards, who remained a source of loving support even after their marriage ended; he also took great pride in his many grandchildren; and
WHEREAS, Al Edwards worked tirelessly in behalf of his fellow citizens, and although he will be deeply missed, his legacy will be admired long into the future; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That tribute be paid to the life of the Honorable Albert Ely Edwards Sr. and that sincere sympathy be extended to all who mourn his passing.