Honoring Wade Edwards
Wade Edwards was a high school student at Needham B. Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, when he died on April 4, 1996. An honor student, a winner of national, state, and local writing awards, a high school athlete, an editor of the yearbook, and a cherished friend, Wade exemplified the community’s aspirations for excellence, compassion, and character.
Wade is the son of John and Elizabeth Edwards. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 18, 1979, and he died on April 4, 1996, at the age of 16. Wade has three siblings: he grew up with his younger sister, Cate, while Emma Claire and John Atticus were born after his death.
In the spring of 1996, Wade was a finalist in a national essay contest for high school students co-sponsored by the Voice of America and National Endowment for the Humanities. The theme of the contest was “What It Means To Be an American,” and Wade’s winning essay was “Fancy Clothes and Overalls.” Wade attended the awards ceremony and visited the First Lady at the White House just three weeks before his death. That same spring his short story, “Summits,” received regional Literary Arts and statewide Scholastic awards. Wade was also invited to attend the National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1995.
In addition to his academic accomplishments, Wade participated for over ten years at various levels with the Capital Area Soccer League. He attended Woodberry Forest Sports Camp, the Colorado Outward Bound School, and every home basketball game of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. He went white water rafting in Arizona and fly-fishing in Colorado and in the summer of 1995, he and his father successfully climbed the difficult Machame and Shira route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, at 19,343 feet the highest peak in Africa.
Wade worked after school for his father’s law firm, Edwards & Kirby. He also participated in Broughton High School’s community service program, volunteering for the Wake Education Partnership, the Daniels Middle School Parent-Teacher Association, various political campaigns, and at Broughton High School. And, he taught his family – and many of his friends – how to use the computer.