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Ex-Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards hospitalized with pneumonia

Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards announces his run for congress in Baton Rouge, Louisiana March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

(Reuters) - Former four-term Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards has been hospitalized with pneumonia, but hopes to be back home in time for his Thanksgiving Day dinner, his wife said in a Facebook message on Wednesday.

Edwards, 88, who celebrated the birth of his fifth child in August 2013 with his third spouse, Trina Edwards, then 34, developed a cough while they were out of town visiting friends, she said in the posting quoted by news media in Louisiana.

“We take his health very seriously so we stopped by to get him checked out by his doctor on our way home,” she wrote. “He has a touch of pneumonia and has been admitted to the hospital for antibiotics.”

She said he was “fine and already feeling much better,” adding, “We hope to be home in time for dinner tomorrow.” A copy of the message was posted online by WDSU-TV in New Orleans.

The colorful and roguishly charming Democrat served in the state legislature and U.S. House of Representatives early in his political career before going on to run for Louisiana governor, taking office in 1972 for the first of four terms.

He won his last term as governor in a 1991 comeback election victory over former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, then the Republican nominee.

Edwards was convicted in May 2000 of extortion in the awarding of state casino licenses, ending a lengthy pursuit by prosecutors that according to his own count had made him the subject of 22 public corruption investigations over the years.

Sentenced to 10 years, he went to prison in 2002 but was paroled in 2011 after serving eight. He ran once more for a U.S. House seat in 2014, at the age of 87, but lost.

He married Trina Grimes Scott when he was 83, and she 32, and starred with her in a short-lived cable TV reality show titled “The Governor’s Wife.”

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Bill Trott in Washington; Editing by Kavita Chandran