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Biography: Ken Edwards
 

Kenneth John Edwards was born on September 26, 1951, in Oxford, Mississippi. He is the oldest son of Kenneth John Edwards, Sr., and his wife Catherine. His father is a retired heavy equipment surveyor and appraiser and his mother is a retired schoolteacher for the Oxford Public School System. His younger brother, Roger, was killed in Vietnam in 1972 when the helicopter he was piloting crashed, killing him and the four other soldiers on board.

Robert attended Oxford University School, graduating in 1970. He entered the University of Mississippi in the fall of that year to pursue a degree in banking. He graduated from the university in 1975 and was offered a position with First National Bank of Oxford. Always a loyal supporter of everything Oxford, Edwards accepted the offer because the First National Bank of Oxford, founded in 1910 by Col. W.C. Faulkner, was and still is Oxford's only hometown bank.

After a training period as a teller, Edwards worked as a Loan Officer for several years. In 1981, he moved up to a Vice President position and was again promoted in 1989 to Senior Vice President, a position that he holds to this day. As Senior Vice President, he has almost total control over the day-to-day operations of the bank and answers only to the Board of Directors, which he chairs. His estimated net worth is in the ten million dollar range, due in part to his large interest in the J. T. Cooper Department Store, a fixture on the Oxford square since 1854.

Edwards has remained single throughout most of his life, although he has had various romances with ladies around Oxford. The most serious of these romances cost Edwards dearly. In May of 1998, he approached Cupid's Couples, Oxford's dating service, and asked to be matched up with a sophisticated, intelligent lady for dinner, drinks, and good conversation.

Following the usual screening and matching processes, Trudi Rose introduced Edwards to Natasha Van Moore, former Cupid's Couples employee and current owner and operator of Good Graces. The resulting date and ensuing whirlwind courtship ultimately proved devastating for Edwards. After dating only three months, Edwards and Van Moore married on August 15, 1998 in a lavish ceremony with more than 500 guests in attendance.

During the 1998 holiday season, Edwards and Van Moore entertained often, hosting not only the Oxford elite, but also many of Edwards' business associates from in and out of town. While details have never been made public, it was apparently during one of these holiday parties that Edwards learned something disturbing about his wife's past, something that would ultimately end their marriage.

In January 1999, Edwards filed for divorce, claiming his wife had married him under fraudulent pretenses. Van Moore denied all allegations of fraud and initially contested the divorce, but later changed her mind and filed a counter-suit. In the end, Van Moore walked away with a settlement of one and a half million dollars in June 1999.

Infuriated by the final outcome of his divorce, Edwards promptly filed a negligence lawsuit against Cupid's Couples. He claimed in his complaint that the owners, Trudi Rose and Kelly Clinton, knew about Van Moore's history before he was matched with her and failed to inform him, thereby opening him up to possible ridicule and loss of reputation and income.

Edwards found himself thwarted again in January 2000 when Judge Harold Mickle dismissed Edwards' lawsuit. Judge Mickle found there was insufficient evidence to hear the negligence claim after listening to testimony in his chambers from Edwards, Rose, and Clinton. This setback only added fuel to the fire of Edwards' outrage over what he termed his "public humiliation at the hands of Natasha Van Moore." But with no one left to sue, he is forced to seek other outlets for his indignation.

Edwards is currently single, but has reportedly been seeing Marjorie Kilgore, a longtime teller at the bank, off and on over the last several months. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, tennis, and horseback riding at his ranch-style estate in east Yoknapatawpha County.

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