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John Edwards: Kerry Rival to Ally

Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry has chosen North Carolina Senator John Edwards as his running mate -- a successful trial lawyer and self-made millionaire who says he entered public life to be a "champion of the regular people."

Born in Seneca, South Carolina, in 1953, John Edwards grew up in the small town of Robbins, North Carolina, where his father worked in a textile mill and his mother ran a local store.

He was the first person in his family to attend college, graduating from North Carolina State University. He continued his studies at the University of North Carolina law school, where he met his wife, Elizabeth. The couple has three children. A fourth child died in 1996.

After law school, John Edwards amassed a fortune as a personal injury lawyer, representing people in large claims against corporations and hospitals.

In 1998, he made his first run for public office, defeating the incumbent North Carolina senator. During his six years in the Senate, he has focused much of his legislative priorities on education and health care reform, and to fighting corporate corruption.

Earlier this year, Mr. Edwards dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and then joined John Kerry in his bid to defeat President Bush in the November election.

Senator Edwards voted in favor of the Iraq war, but believes the United States cannot rebuild the country alone. He also supports the creation of a domestic agency for intelligence gathering inside the United States.