John Edens was educated at Bailey Military Institute, at the University of South Carolina where he received an LL.B. degree, and at Columbia University. He served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army in World War I. He married Miss Gladys Gray in 1925.
He practiced law in Columbia from 1920 until 1963. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for four years, as Chairman of the Columbia College Board of Trustees, and as Co-Founder and President of the Home Federal Savings and Loan Association in Columbia.
He was one of South Carolina’s most able trial lawyers whose life is epitomized in Van Dyke’s Four Things in which he believed: “Four things a man must learn to do — If he would make his record true: To think without confusion clearly, To love his fellowmen sincerely, To act with honest motives purely, To trust in God and heaven securely.”