Tuesday, January 28, 2014



Ed was born in a small college town in eastern Kentucky.  Although he has lived in a number of states and in southern Africa as a teenager, his Appalachian roots remain important to him.  He lives in Appalachia today.

Ed is a retired businessman who spent most of that time in the tire and tire retreading business.  He has taken the skills learned in business and along with help from his wife Patty spent the years since 1988 being an advocate for the rights and humane treatment of folks labeled with a mental illness.  Ed considers himself an ability advocate rather than a disability advocate.

He is an ordained minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ and spent most of his teenage years on a mission station in Zimbabwe, Africa with his parents.  Because of this background and his own convictions from the beginning of his advocacy work Ed has put an emphasis on the church and those like himself with a psychiatric label.  In 1989, NAMI-NC held its main conference in Greensboro with a major emphasis being put on this issue.  A Friday night session was held where then Director John Baggett and Ed spoke on the subject and they did a workshop together on Saturday.

Ed is a published author with over 100 articles published, two books published, and a moderately successful blog and website.  He is presently working on his second book of poetry.

Ed has been able to complete some college, but for the most part formal education has been a disaster for him from the first grade to his last attempt at getting more college hours just a few years ago.  However, don’t take for granted he is an uneducated person. Self-taught people sometimes turn out to have the least polluted minds. 
Ed believes in the worth and dignity of every person.  He has lived on the streets, been locked away in mental hospitals, lost job opportunities because of a label and been looked down on by many, but he still dreams.

“One must find a dream for the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year, if one is to make it through till morn or have a hope of making it to their final dream.”   A quote by Ed cooper   


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