Edwin Kagin was the national legal director of American Atheists Inc. and a crusader for the rights of atheists. He died in his home town of natural causes, he did have a history of heart problems according to his sister. Kagin grew up with his father, a Presbyterian minister, and has a son who is also a minister.
Heather Kagin Kennedy, his daughter, said "He used to use the line, 'Any kid can have a normal father.' He used to show up at soccer games in a safari hat. He looked like Indiana Jones. He loved to do things to prove a point, so he would do them in an extreme manner. Like brandishing a hair dryer and doing 'de-baptisms' on people."
As a child Kagin moved around with his family a lot because of his father's pastoral jobs. Kagin's sister, Mary, said "One of my brother's quotes was that he knew the Bible so well because of 12 years of perfect Sunday School attendance, and he became an atheist because of 12 years of perfect Sunday School attendance."
Kagin went to college in northern Ohio, then graduated from Park College in Missouri. He then went on to the University of Louisville and graduated from law school in 1972. Kagin was known for his eccentric personality and love for traveling.
Kagin helped American Atheists ban school prayer, a case which was brought before the Supreme Court. He also challenged things such as 12 foot high crosses on Utah highways, the reference to "almighty God" in Kentucky state legislation, and was challenging the 17 foot tall cross placed at the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum. The ruling on the cross is still pending. The family is planning the memorial service for later in the spring.