Every once in a rare while comes a chance to meet American royalty. If you are in Massachusetts, you might encounter a Kennedy. In New York it could be a Rockefeller. But in St. Louis it would have to be Joe Edwards.
“In this city, Joe Edwards is a prince,” says Ray Hartmann, founder of Riverfront Times, the city’s alternative newspaper, and a journalist who has covered the city for decades. “Or at least he’s the closest thing that we’ve got.”
The soft-spoken Mr. Edwards, who sports a ponytail and seems most at ease in faded jeans, actually looks more like a vintage rocker than a potentate of any kind.
But according to many of his grateful fellow St. Louisans, Edwards has been a powerful force for civic good. “It’s hard to give anybody single-handed credit for something this big,” Mr. Hartmann says, “but [Edwards] is largely responsible for saving one of the most historic parts of the city.”