He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines where he was a consistent scholar. He obtained his Master of Laws degree as a Dewitt Fellow, from the University of Michigan. He became a life member of two international honor societies, the Phi Kappa and Phi Gamma Mu.
In 2008, the University Board of Regents created the U.P. President Edgardo J. Angara Fellowship Program with an initial endowment fund of Five Hundred Million Pesos. This fellowship program is awarded to outstanding members of the faculty who deserve to pursue further research and studies on policy matters involving great public interest.
It was during his tenure as U.P. President from 1981-1987 where Mr. Angara made his mark and rose to national prominence. He gained the respect of the academe for his professionalism and determination to make the state university attain its true status as the premiere educational center in the country.
Mr. Angara, the longest serving Senator in the post-EDSA Senate and considered one of the most accomplished legislators in contemporary history, began his political career when he was elected as one of the youngest delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. A year later he founded what would become one of the country’s top law firms, the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW).
He was first elected Senator in 1987 and throughout his years in public service, he had established a reputation as a resolute reformer and firm leader, winning praise for his non-confrontational stance on contentious domestic and international issues, while building consensus.
He has authored landmark laws ranging from agricultural modernization, the establishment of a health care delivery system, educational reforms, cultural institution building and the proper administration of justice.
Among his landmark laws are the Free High School Act, the Senior Citizens Act (or The Angara Law), the National Health Insurance Act or PHILHEALTH and the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE).
As chairman of the Congressional Commission on Education during the 8th Congress, he sponsored laws which led to the creation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA).
He also authored the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers, the new National Museum Act and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.
As Secretary of Agriculture from 1999-2001, he oversaw a marked improvement in agricultural productivity and provided much-needed leadership in addressing issues on food security.
He also served as Executive Secretary of former President Joseph Estrada and oversaw the peaceful transition of power after the second people power revolution.
As Philippine National Bank chairman (1998-1999), he made the bank a major player in the domestic financial market.
Upon assuming the leadership of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), the dominant opposition party, he began to quietly transform the party into an effective institution dedicated to effecting change in the political, social and economic structure.
Angara has been elected to the Senate four times to a term of 6 years each. He is now serving his fourth term in the 14th Congress. He presently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee on Finance. He co-chairs the bicameral Commission on Science Mathematics and Engineering.