Edward showed up in Port Charles in 1978, and moved into the house that his son Alan had bought for his wife, Monica. In 1980, Edward decided to test daughter Tracy's loyalty, by pretending to have a heart attack. He created a will that would disinherit Tracy, but before he could sign it, he collapsed on the floor. He pleaded with Tracy to give him his heart medicine; she refused unless he promised not to sign the will. Tracy had failed the test, and Edward banished her.
Edward teamed up with his niece Alexandria Quartermaine to make money with her friends, Victor and Tony Cassadine. The plan involved finding the Ice Princess. But the plan quickly got out of hand as the Cassadines got a hold of the statue and took off to an island where their brother Mikkos planned to use the secret formula hidden in the Ice Princess to take over the world. Luke Spencer thwarted the plan in time, and Alexandria wound up dead in the end.
Edward's next biggest problem arrived in the form of Susan Moore and Crane Tolliver. Crane, Lila's first husband, had proof that Lila had never officially divorced him. This meant that Lila and Edward weren't legally married, and Alan and Tracy were illegitimate. Susan, Alan's former fling and Jason's mother, blackmailed the Quartermaines with Crane's information. When she was shot, everyone in the Quartermaine clan was a suspect. However, the real killer was Crane, which Jimmy Lee Holt, Edward's son by Beatrice LeSeur, proved. Jimmy found the unsigned divorce papers, which Lila and Edward took care of, and then they were married legally.
In 1984, Beatrice appeared in Port Charles and threatened to expose the Quartermaines' cover-up. However, she dropped dead at a charity gala, before she got the chance. Edward was suspected of poisoning her, but it turned out Beatrice had accidentally killed herself by sipping Lila's heart medication. Edward discovered what it was like to be broke when Monica and her new flame, Sean Donely, found their way into ELQ's boardroom and took the company away from the Quartermaines. Monica then threw the Quartermaines out of the mansion, and they were forced to live above Kelly's.
Lila was able to rescue the family by starting a new business she called "Pickle-Lila." Her new relish earned the Quartermaines a new fortune, and they were back in the lap of luxury. In 1989, Edward disappeared, and was presumed dead, when he went on a fishing trip to the Bermuda Triangle. However, first he rewrote his will, leaving everything to Tracy's son, Ned Ashton, much to the family's dismay. Two years later, Anna Devane found Edward playing beach bum in the Bahamas and dragged him back to civilization. He teamed up with Ned and got ELQ away from Paul Hornsby. In 1993 Edward banished his daughter a second time, after Tracy ran down her daughter-in-law, Jenny Eckert. Up to his old tricks again, Edward set his grandsons against each other by loaning A.J. money to buy into the Port Charles Hotel, which was Ned's domain.
In 1994, Edward was arrested and tried for the murder of Bradley Ward, whose body had been discovered on the Spencer's front lawn. Just as it seemed certain that Edward was going to be put in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Bradley's mother Mary-Mae Ward took the stand. She revealed that Bradley was Edward's son from the affair that they'd had during the war. Edward was then acquitted. Though Edward never knew his son, Bradley, his grandson, Justus Ward, was in Port Charles. Justus and Edward formed a bond when Edward set up a foundation to help businesses on Charles Street. Justus and Edward got along pretty well for a while.
In 1996, Edward became so anxious to shut down the singing career of grandson Ned that he bought Ned's record company, L&B, right out from under the noses of Ned's wife, Lois, and her business partner, Brenda Barrett. But Lois got her company back with the help of Jasper "Jax" Jacks, and Jax got a spot on the ELQ board, which did not make Edward happy, especially when Jax teamed up with Tracy to take over ELQ. When this plan came to light, Edward banished his daughter a third time. When Edward's estranged grandson Jason Morgan fathered the first Quartermaine great-grandchild, Michael Morgan, Edward became obsessed with taking Michael home. He even tried to kidnap the child.
The plan to take Michael drove Justus from the family and into the mob with Jason. Growing frustrated, Edward promised A.J. the CEO position at ELQ if he could return Michael to the Quartermaines. If A.J. succeeded, Ned would be out of a job. A.J. couldn't believe his luck when Robin revealed to him that Jason wasn't Michael's father because A.J. was. Edward was thrilled, as well, but he was forced to eat his words when A.J. was able to bring Michael into the Quartermaine fold by marrying Michael's mother, Carly. A.J. threatened to leave with his new family if Edward didn't fork over the CEO position. So A.J. was appointed as CEO, and Ned left, telling Edward that he would not save the family again, especially when the whole thing blew up in Edward's face.
In the summer of 1999, Edward tried to keep a long-lost family secret from being found out by Luke Spencer and Felicia Scorpio, who was writing Lila's memoirs. He also decided to ruin the plan between Chloe, Lila's cousin who had recently appeared in town, and her newfound friends Jax, Ned, and Alexis to fulfill the requirement in her uncle's will to be married in order to keep her design company. Despite Edward and Reginald's efforts, Luke and Felicia discovered what they thought was the truth: Edward had killed Lila's fiancÚ, Elliot, and had married her in his place.
Edward initially denied the discovery, and then told them they were right. But Lila refused to let her husband take the blame and revealed the truth: she had killed Elliot. When Elliot had learned that Edward had been romancing Lila while writing letters under Elliot's name, he had tried to force himself on Lila, and she had hit him in the head with a fireplace poker. He had died and the family had covered up the crime. Luke and Felicia agreed to keep the murder a secret.
Edward went back to trying to ruin Ned and Chloe's sham of a marriage. He needed Ned back as CEO of ELQ, so he paired with Chloe's aunt, who also wanted to ruin Chloe's marriage. Edward planned to destroy Ned's record company again and then Chloe's aunt would get her design company, which had recently partnered with Ned's company. But Edward couldn't seem to make his plan work, and the foursome continually evaded his efforts. When Chloe was the victim of a hit-and-run, Edward dropped his vendetta against her marriage, but not his plans to get Ned back at ELQ. However, Ned had no intention of returning to ELQ and managed to thwart Edward's plans yet again.
Edward was floored to learn that the next addition to the Quartermaine clan was not actually a Quartermaine, but a Corinthos. Carly had gotten pregnant again and was pretending that the baby was A.J.'s. However, the baby was really the result of a one-night stand with Sonny. All of Edward's efforts to retain Carly and Michael with the Quartermaines failed, and all hope was lost when Jason produced evidence that A.J. was responsible for burning down Jason and Sonny's warehouse earlier that year. Sonny used the evidence to blackmail A.J. out of his parental rights and into giving Carly a divorce. The Quartermaine family, especially Edward, was furious with A.J. for taking part in the fire and for losing Michael. Edward kicked A.J. out of ELQ and vowed to make A.J. pay for what he'd done.
With ELQ without a CEO because Ned would not return, Edward made an odd move in courting corporate raider Jax. Edward hoped that Ned would swoop in to save the company like he had done previously when Jax tried to buy out ELQ. But Ned remained true to his promise of not returning. Edward had a stroke of luck when Jax forgot about ELQ to go after a drug company to obtain medication for Chloe from Helena Cassadine. Jax sold his shares of ELQ, which he had gotten from A.J. and Tracy, to Edward. Edward then took over as CEO of ELQ.
More family crises and events unfolded over the next several months. Emily was kidnapped, A.J. returned to the bottle, and Ned announced his engagement to Alexis. Emily's kidnapping proved to be the most intense problem. She returned safely, but she had fallen for her kidnapper, Zander Smith. Edward tried to keep them apart and even implored Alan and Monica to do their part. They finally relented when Emily was nearly killed in a shootout in front of the Port Charles Police Station after Zander's release from jail. Emily was sent away to boarding school despite loud protests. Lila sided with Emily and against Edward, as did the household staff.
Zander found Emily, and they returned to Port Charles, but Emily refused to live at the mansion. She went to live at Kelly's, despite Edward's attempts at preventing her. Desperate to keep Emily and Zander apart, Edward faked his own mugging and blamed Zander. Zander was arrested, and Edward made a deal with Emily: stop seeing Zander and Edward would get him released. But the truth about the mugging was revealed, and Emily continued to see Zander.
In 2001, Skye Chandler breezed into the mansion, announcing that she was the daughter of Rae Cummings and Alan. Alan was dumbfounded that the baby he thought had died was alive. Unbeknownst to Alan, Edward had sold the baby and had gotten the doctor to tell Rae that the child had died. Edward welcomed Skye to the family, hoping to use her in his conflicts with Ned and A.J., not realizing Skye had payback on her mind. After various plots, ranging from paying a lounge singer named Janine to lie that she and Edward were lovers, she managed to gain enough voting power to wrest control of ELQ from Edward. Edward, always suffering from a weak heart, suffered another heart attack.
During his stay in the hospital, Edward grew close to his nurse, Melissa Bedford, who always listened to his problems when his family wouldn't. He cut his family out of his will and put her in. Alan began digging into her background and, after repeated requests, Edward took Melissa out of the will. He had also been blackmailing Skye with the information that she had been faking her attacks from Sonny so that Jax would rescue her. He wanted ELQ back and demanded she give him the CEO spot, or he'd spill her secret to Jax. But Skye turned the tables and came clean to Jax first, ruining Edward's efforts, although he didn't know it. After Edward made dramatic statements about being prepared to die, Melissa comforted him. Later, Melissa was discovered to be the Dr. Kevorkian of Port Charles, thus continuing Edward's pattern of befriending unbalanced women, of whom Katherine Bell was the first.
When Jax sold controlling interest of ELQ to Lila, Edward hoped she'd make him CEO again. But Lila told him that he would be co-CEO with Skye. Edward had no choice but to accept Lila's decision. Edward and a stunned Quartermaine clan welcomed A.J.'s new bride, Courtney, into the family, and Edward invited them to live at the mansion. Edward told A.J. that A.J. had to keep Courtney happy in order for their plan to get Michael back to work.
Edward was less than pleased to hear Courtney state she was not ready for kids and that she hoped Carly, who had been in an accident and was presumed dead, was alive for Michael's sake. Carly did turn up alive, and Edward and A.J. went back to utilizing Courtney in their fight for custody of Michael, and ensuring that Courtney remained devoted to A.J. But A.J. actually fell in love with Courtney, and he refused to continue his plans to get custody of Michael. The newlyweds moved out, and Edward froze A.J.'s accounts, virtually bankrupting A.J. and forcing him to find a real job. Edward also bribed Courtney's mother into not giving any money to the couple.
Edward then went to battle against Jax and used Skye as his pawn. He played on her vulnerabilities regarding Jax and got her to sign a contract with him, stating that she would get him info on Jax's holdings in exchange for being named the sole Quartermaine heir. Although she felt somewhat guilty, Skye continued to get close to Jax and soon got engaged to him. But by that time, Skye wanted out of her deal with Edward, who threatened to reveal her deal to Jax if she backed out. At her engagement party, Edward argued with Skye over the contract and had a stroke.
Edward managed to taunt Skye one more time by saying he'd made copies of the contract before lapsing into a coma. Uncertain of Edward's chances of a recovery, Lila appointed Ned CEO of ELQ. Ned found a copy of the contract between Edward and Skye and confronted her. He demanded that she tell Jax the truth, and she relented. Hurt, Jax broke up with Skye. In a drunken stupor, Skye was afraid that she'd pulled the plug on Edward's life support and went to Jax for help. Jax and Ned staged an argument in Edward's hospital room and tricked him into coming out of his "coma," which they knew was a fake. Edward then admitted that he had pulled his own plug to set Skye up.
Edward wanted control of ELQ back from Ned and he also wanted the newest Quartermaine heir, Ned and Alexis' unborn child, under the Quartermaine roof. But Ned was not going to give up either of them without a fight. Ned intended to use ELQ to go after Sonny Corinthos, much to Edward's dismay. Ned also didn't want Edward meddling in his child's life. As Ned argued with Edward about the baby, Edward became suspicious of the child's actual paternity. After hearing about Sonny and Alexis' one-night stand, Edward went to Sonny with the idea that he was the actual father of Alexis' child. He tried to strike a bargain with Sonny to get Michael back and arranged for a DNA test. But Ned had anticipated this move and managed to make the test results reveal Ned as the father. His latest attempt at getting Michael back thwarted, Edward returned to his efforts to get ELQ back from Ned.
After seeing Ned conspiring with Faith Rosco in his pursuit of Sonny, Edward tried to warn Ned off of using ELQ and of partnering with Faith. But Ned wouldn't listen, so Edward set out to teach Ned a lesson in going against Edward's demands. He secretly partnered with Faith, and they made a deal for her to use Ned to get rid of Sonny. But Faith soon proved to be a loose cannon concerning her desire to take out Sonny. After Ned turned her down, Faith convinced Edward to finance her next move against Sonny, which was to hire an assassin to take him out. When Edward realized what she'd done, he wanted little to do with her.
When Alexis was put on trial for Alcazar's murder, baby Kristina went to live with Ned at the gatehouse. But that wasn't good enough for Edward, who wanted the baby under his roof and in his custody. Edward partnered with Scott to trick Alexis into revealing in open court that she was faking her illness. Then Ned got full custody of Kristina, and Edward plotted with Alan and A.J. to lure Kristina's nanny away and then set fire to the gatehouse so A.J. could rescue her, but all the while, Kristina would actually be perfectly safe in the mansion. The plan nearly backfired, first when Ned arrived unexpectedly and was nearly killed trying to rescue the baby, and then when Monica threatened to turn them all in to the authorities.
In the end Edward's plan worked, and the Quartermaines were awarded custody of Kristina. But soon after, Kristina was kidnapped. Edward immediately fingered Alexis as the culprit, especially since she was the person to discover Kristina missing. However, Edward didn't realize that Skye and A.J. had taken the baby because Edward hadn't delivered on his promise to give A.J. more power at ELQ. Alexis then took the baby from them and nearly fled the country with her. But Emily and Zander later returned Kristina home when they found Alexis and Kristina at Cameron's cabin after Cameron was arrested for helping Alexis. Alexis confessed to kidnapping Kristina to keep Emily and Zander out of jail. Then Cameron got Scott and Edward to back off Alexis by blackmailing them with the original arson report on the gatehouse fire and proof that Edward had been paying off Scott to help him. Cameron was also able to get Edward to allow Alexis to see Kristina and to let Ned have custodial power over Kristina.
Tracy blew back into town just long enough to reveal that Skye was not a Quartermaine and to leave her son Dillon to live with his grandparents. Edward booted Skye off the board at ELQ and was not happy to have Dillon left behind for him to take care of. Edward's world was further disrupted when Reginald, the butler, was injured. Edward hired an English butler named Dobson and told him to keep Kristina away from her deranged mother. But Edward didn't realize that Dobson was really Alexis in disguise.
Edward was a bit flabbergasted when he finally learned the truth about Dobson/Alexis. But his attentions had been turned to Dillon, who had been seeing Georgie Jones. Edward tried to forbid Dillon from seeing Georgie, but it didn't work. When Dillon got into trouble with the cops, Edward lectured him on soiling the family name with his antics. When Dillon refused to apologize, Edward left him in jail overnight.
The family rallied around Emily as she fought for her life and underwent treatment for breast cancer and related complications. Certain she was going to die, she shared an impromptu bedside wedding with Zander. But she recovered, and Edward welcomed Zander to the family. Edward then turned his attention back to Dillon, who had been continuing to see Georgie. Edward tried again to break them apart, but it didn't work. So Edward nearly put Dillon in military school in the hope of scaring him into obedience.
It wasn't long before Emily and Zander split up because she had fallen for Nikolas. When she announced her engagement to Nikolas to the family, Edward and the rest of the family were less than thrilled to also hear that the Cassadines were flat broke. But right around that time, A.J. secretly emptied the family's bank accounts and took off into the sunset, leaving the family broke. It seemed that Emily and Nikolas would be on equal footing financially.
Edward was suspicious when Nikolas showed up one day, asking all sorts of questions about a Quartermaine ancestor and a ship owned by their relatives of long before, supposedly containing a lot of treasure. The ship had sunk in the Port Charles harbor. Edward was thrilled when Emily and Nikolas later revealed that they had found the treasure that had been on that boat. However, Edward was unwilling to share the fortune with the Cassadines, and made his opinion known to the happy couple. When he learned that Sam had skipped town with the treasure, Edward wasted no time in trying to get Jax to tell the family where Sam had gone. But Jax didn't know and didn't care. So Edward was forced to wait for the treasure or find another way to get his fortune back.
The fortune eventually ended up back in the hands of Emily and Nikolas and they decided to auction off the treasure. The profits were to be divided equally between the Quartermaines and Cassadines. The auction was held at the Port Charles Hotel, so Edward arranged for a new security system to be installed in order to protect the treasure. A technician warned Edward that the new security system overloaded the electrical circuit. Edward dismissed the warning.
Many prominent Port Charles residents were in attendance the night of the auction, which was the same night the hotel caught on fire. Edward suffered a heart attack and required emergency surgery. He was aware of his negligence regarding the faulty wiring, which prompted him to have Justus prepare a document that stated Edward, not any other Quartermaine, was responsible for the fire. After Edward survived the surgery and a lawsuit was pending against him, he regretted his admission of guilt. Tracy suggested Edward pretend to be senile in order to negate the document. Edward and the rest of the Quartermaines were cleared of any negligence when it was later determined Zander Smith had started the fire.
Tracy took advantage of Edward's fake senility to gain control of ELQ. The board was equally divided between Edward and Tracy, with Dillon as the deciding vote. Both Tracy and Edward badgered Dillon as they each tried to win his vote. The battle for ELQ was temporarily sidelined when Lila unexpectedly passed away in her sleep. Edward allowed Heather Webber to comfort him through his grief, and he married Heather shortly after Lila's death. Tracy conspired with Heather to commit Edward to Shadybrook Sanitarium. Luke Spencer helped Edward escape. Heather drugged Edward and planned to kill him. She hoped to seek financial gains from his death. Edward had his marriage to Heather annulled.
Edward continued to grieve over the loss of Lila as the Quartermaine family faced more tragedy. Justus delivered news that A.J. had been found murdered in the Bahamas. Then Michael was kidnapped and presumed dead. Edward was furious with Sonny and Carly for the dangerous lifestyle Michael had been exposed to. Unbeknownst to Edward, both Michael and A.J. were very much alive. A.J. had kidnapped Michael and faked both of their deaths. They were in hiding inside the Quartermaine mansion. Edward did not realize this until it was too late. Michael was returned to Sonny and Carly, and A.J. was murdered.
Edward made his disappointment with Alan clear after A.J.'s death. Edward believed Alan could have made different choices with A.J. that would have kept A.J. alive. He also berated Alan when Alan allowed the hospital's insurance policy to lapse. Edward was left with no other option than to allow Skye to seduce Lorenzo Alcazar into bailing out the hospital. Tracy was not exempt from Edward's disappointment after she allowed herself to be tricked into a marriage to Luke Spencer. Luke was happy to get his hands on the Quartermaine money and refused to divorce Tracy.
The problem of Luke's marriage to Tracy was set aside when ELQ manufactured a faulty batch of ENDURO condoms. Lulu and Dillon had used one of the defective condoms, and Lulu was pregnant. Edward declared the unborn child to be the next Quartermaine heir, but Lulu planned to have an abortion. Dillon wanted to raise the child but was not sure he was willing to force Lulu to have the child. Edward tried to convince Dillon to file an injunction that would prevent Lulu from terminating the pregnancy. Edward had Lulu followed to ensure she did not secretly abort the child. When Lulu realized she was being followed, she threatened to publically expose ELQ's defective product. Lulu went through with the abortion.
Edward continued to lose members of his family. Justus was murdered when he attended a meeting in place of Jason. Alan suffered a heart attack when he was a hostage inside the Metro Court Hotel and died shortly after. Alan left most of his estate to any future children Jason might have, but Luke and Tracy changed his will. Edward and Monica were furious with Tracy and worked to prove she had altered the will.
Another Quartermaine death occurred when the Text Message Killer strangled Emily. Edward forged ahead with a heavy heart. He was saddened when Skye left Port Charles with her daughter, Lila Rae, and he was heartbroken when Michael was in a permanent coma after a bullet was lodged in his head. Edward spent a great deal of time in Lila's rose garden, a place he felt closest to her, as he tried to make sense of the tragedies.
Edward was displeased when he was selected for jury duty. Johnny Zacchara was on trial for the murder of Logan Hayes. Edward believed Johnny was guilty of some mob-related crime, regardless of Johnny's involvement in Logan's death, and wanted to see him imprisoned, but Johnny was acquitted. In a positive turn of events, Michael emerged from his coma and temporarily moved in with the Quartermaines. Although Edward tried, Jason refused to also move in. Michael went back to living with Sonny and Carly shortly after he arrived at the mansion.
Emily's doppelganger arrived in Port Charles. Her name was Rebecca Shaw, and Edward welcomed Rebecca into the family, based upon her resemblance to Emily. Rebecca was revealed to be a con artist that had arrived in Port Charles with the sole purpose of extorting money from the Quartermaines and Nikolas Cassadine by playing on their connection to Emily. Edward forgave Rebecca's intentions when it was proved she was Emily's twin sister, although they had been separated at birth. Edward offered to pay for Rebecca's education if she moved into the Quartermaine mansion. Rebecca chose instead to pursue a life outside of Port Charles.
A routine physical showed Edward to be in good health on the day of the hospital carnival. He went to the Metro Court Hotel to celebrate and then headed to the carnival. Edward suffered a heart attack behind the wheel, and he drove his car into the carnival. An investigation revealed Edward's heart attack had been caused by digitalis he had ingested. Andrea Floyd has spiked Edward's drink with digitalis to prevent Edward from placing Andrea at the Metro Court Hotel at the time of the murder of Brianna Hughes. The only fatality of the accident was Andrea.
Edward's anger toward Sonny and Carly resurfaced when Michael was sentenced to prison for the murder of Claudia Zacchara. He tried to arrange for Michael's release but was unable to do so. Things began to look up for Edward when Brook Lynn briefly returned to town, although she refused to enter the Quartermaine fold. His great-granddaughter Maya also arrived in Port Charles and moved in. Luke and Tracy finally admitted their love for one another and were legally married, which made Tracy less miserable to live with. Michael was released from prison, and both he and Jason stopped by to visit Edward, although Michael retained he still had no interest in taking the role of Edward's heir. Brenda Barrett also returned to town and visited with Edward. She asked Edward to walk her down the aisle when she married Sonny, but he refused.
Edward devised a new plan for an heir after Maya married Ethan Lovett in Las Vegas. Ethan and Maya were heavily intoxicated and did not plan to remain married -- until Edward intervened. He offered to heavily compensate each of them if they stayed married for one year. Edward saw immense promise in Ethan and believed he could be head of ELQ. His plan did not work. Maya fell in love with someone else and left Port Charles.
Edward turned his search for an heir back to Michael and he used Michael's girlfriend, Abby Haver, as leverage. Edward had met Abby at Sonny and Brenda's wedding, and Michael and Abby had comforted Edward when chaos erupted at the reception. When Michael graduated from high school, Edward offered both Abby and Michael summer internships at ELQ. He made it no secret he hoped the summer would be enough time to convince Michael to take his birthright at the helm of ELQ.
Michael and Abby took Edward's offer and they both interned at ELQ. Edward was immediately impressed with Michael's business instincts and sought his opinion regarding several decisions. However Michael decided that a future at ELQ was not for him despite Edward's claims to the contrary. Around the same time Jason was involved in a car accident and suffered a brain trauma. Edward regretted the decisions he had made and the time he had lost with his grandson after Jason stopped being a Quartermaine.
Jason survived the surgery and Edward had the chance to repair the relationship with his grandson. Edward learned of the engagement between Jason and his girlfriend Sam McCall and he presented Jason with Lila's wedding ring and wished him well in his marriage. Jason appreciated the gesture and accepted the ring. He also invited Edward to the wedding.
Another Quartermaine wedding followed soon when Tracy married mobster Anthony Zacchara. The nuptials between the two were unexpected and Edward assumed that somehow Tracy had married out of coercion but he allowed her to sort it out for herself.
In the months that followed Edward was filled with a deep sense of loss after Robin Scorpio was believed to have perished in a lab explosion at the hospital. Edward was heart-broken when he thought of Robin's daughter Emma growing up without her mother. He remembered Robin and thought of his beloved Lila since he saw many similarities between them.
Edward acknowledged how special Robin had been to him when the city's water supply had been poisoned with a deadly toxin. Like the rest of the Port Charles residents, Edward was infected and suffered from a high fever. The only person that seemed to be immune was Tracy and one dose of the cure was created from Tracy's blood. Tracy secured the medication for her father but he insisted that Robin's daughter have it instead.
Eventually the counteragent was secured and Edward survived the exposure to the toxin but his health steadily declined. His family knew the end was near and gathered to say their good-byes. Monica was with Edward in his final moments as he uttered his final word, "Lila." Edward was later reunited with Lila and the two walked together up the stairs of the Quartermaine mansion.