Psychic: John Edward
While some argue that John Edward simply uses the mentalist techniques of cold and hot reading to get a sense for his clients' and viewers' pasts, many swear by his uncanny abilities to speak with their loved ones who passed on and to ascertain details that could never have been known without the gift of psychic sight. Edward's semi-casual, wide-eyed sincerity has broad appeal to audiences across the country, and acts as a counter-balance to the new-age hippie appearance or the exotic flair exhibited by many psychics. His work has convinced many "average Americans" that a psychic medium could look like them, speak like them and play a meaningful role in their lives.
Controversy Surrounding John Edward
Despite his easygoing appearance, Edward has been at the center of a number of controversies regarding his work as a psychic medium. Critics allege that his show is highly edited to reduce the number of "misses" seen by the national television audience. Edward responds that he edits the show for time purposes, not to keep people from seeing that his psychic abilities don't always work. Noted skeptic James Randi found that in a two-hour reading prior to being edited for TV, only three of 23 statements were confirmed to be correct by audience members. People have questioned Edward's ability to get psychic results without having foreknowledge about audience members' lives.
In the months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, John Edward held a show with audience members with family that had died in the Twin Towers. His show was universally scorned for its insensitivity toward a nation still stunned and in mourning. For his part, Edward alleges that he had no part in the choice of audience members and blames the whole fiasco on his producers.
Broadcast on We TV since 2006, John Edward's current show is called "John Edward Cross Country," and it consists of John giving readings at venues all around the country. Much like his earlier show, the main differences are that it takes place in a different location every time and that Edward supposedly has no foreknowledge of who will be in his audience. This was done in response to critics' claims that Edward's success only came from prior knowledge of his audience. He also visits with each person he reads for after the show, meeting their families, seeing their homes, and giving TV viewers a sense of story about his impact in their lives.
Personal Information and History
John Edward was born in Glen Cove, New York and is Irish-Catholic and Italian by ethnicity. He learned of his future when he was fifteen years old and a "huge doubter" in spirituality and psychic connections. A New Jersey psychic told him that he would become an internationally-renowned medium who would help people. He thought she was "full of it," but just fifteen years later, he was a huge star doing just that.
Edward has been married to his wife Sandra Coelho for over ten years. They have two children and live in New York state. He had many careers before settling as a psychic medium, including a phlebotomist, a health care administrator and a ballroom dancing instructor. He is the author of seven books and three audio books about how ordinary people can get in touch with their psychic potential.