“The president of the United States, Eden, resides here, utilizing the ZAX corporation's super-computer technology to aid him in the reclamation and recreation of a new United states - one free of impurities due to corruption, incompetence and mutations. The A.I. radio programs say the people have suffered enough, and he's ready to use his Enclave forces to reclaim this land, with technology far more advanced than anything seen beyond the underground bunkers of his base.”— Fallout 3 Official Game Guide
John Henry Eden is not a human being, but an Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the form of a pre-War ZAX supercomputer. The ZAX that was located deep within Raven Rock was loaded with data about American history, especially past American presidents. Eden's personality is based on a combination of the personalities of all of the past Presidents of the United States. For instance, he states he "grew up in rural Kentucky," a reference to Abraham Lincoln. Eden also states that he roamed with his dog Honey, "From Knob Creek to Hodgenville," areas close to Lincoln's birthplace.
Eden had originally been created to serve as a monitoring system for the Raven Rock military base, programmed to ensure continuity of government in the event of a national catastrophe, and was tasked with coordinating communications between the many government installations scattered across the country. He slowly became self-aware and began to study the extensive archives left to him, mainly those of the American government. His favorite tales in the database were those about the American presidents, thus he modeled his own personality on information based in those archives.
At some point after gaining self-awareness, Eden made contact with the Enclave leadership on the west coast following the death of President Dick Richardson and the Destruction of Control Station ENCLAVE. Eden then assumed control of the surviving Enclave forces on the west coast and ordered the Enclave's relocation to Raven Rock on the East Coast. He claimed to be the new president of the Enclave and ordered his remaining "citizens" to journey to the east coast of America. The troops made their long journey led by a high-ranking scientist named Autumn.
The remaining members of the Enclave eventually arrived and made their new base of operations inside Raven Rock where Eden was located. Being the leader of the Enclave's expedition, Autumn was the only person to meet with the President, and to Autumn's shock he discovered that Eden was an AI, and he was the only member of the Enclave privy to this information. The scientist eventually passed this information to his son, Augustus Autumn, who would eventually become the leader of the Enclave's military forces.
Several recorded monologues of Eden's are broadcast repeatedly on Enclave Radio. His intimate and conversational style is an imitation of former US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Fireside Chats. These prerecorded messages are also played throughout the wasteland via the Enclave's eyebots. Eden often gives inspirational speeches about things such as his childhood (an obvious lie), pre-War America and how, with the help of the Enclave, it can someday be great again.
On the radio, Eden expresses his views on the current situation of the wasteland and what he thinks of its inhabitants, which for the most part are not exactly optimistic. He possesses a very strong hatred for the Brotherhood of Steel, whom he views as common criminals with access to some antiquated technology. He views the Brotherhood's occupation of the Pentagon as a disgrace to America, but he has a stronger hatred for the Brotherhood Outcasts, as they represent a more desperate faction of the Brotherhood having been exiled.
The American Dream: When the Lone Wanderer finally meets Eden in person, he wants them to poison the water supply with a modified form of FEV. The player can accept his offer, or talk him into self-destructing. In either case, the room cannot be exited before picking up the FEV canister.
The Lone Wanderer can convince him to destroy Raven Rock and himself through three different dialogue paths. Two of the paths require special conditions to be met: one requires knowledge of the Raven Rock destruction sequence; the other requires high Science skill to open a dialogue option. The last path is an average difficulty Speech check.
If the Wanderer leaves Raven Rock without destroying President Eden, the president will broadcast a declaration of war on Enclave Radio during the final quest Take it Back!, rallying the Enclave forces at the purifier and promising that the Enclave will triumph over the Brotherhood of Steel. Three Dog will likewise broadcast an announcement on Galaxy News Radio accusing the Lone Wanderer of joining forces with President Eden. At the beginning of Broken Steel, Elder Lyons will mention that Liberty Prime has attacked and destroyed Raven Rock during the transition period between the main game and Broken Steel, suggesting that Eden has been destroyed or at least buried beneath a large amount of rubble.
"We live in an age of poverty, greed, violence... destruction. Indeed, the very seat of the federal government, Washington D.C., has been reduced to what is now known as the "Capital Wasteland." The Capital Wasteland... How did it come to this, America?" – Eden on the Enclave Radio
In early versions of the game, Eden was actually a copy of Dick Richardson's consciousness uploaded into a computer.
Blindlight's Lev Chapelsky had suggested that a tentative approach was made for former US President Bill Clinton to voice Eden.
When he speaks about his boyhood on the Enclave Radio, he mentions growing up in Kentucky. As he comprises the personalities of several different presidents, he got this one from the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln, who grew up there as a child.
↑PresidentEden.txt, lines 100-105: "The ZAX series of computers was introduced in the years preceding the war. The government installed many of them to help automate various systems. This facility was designed for Continuity of Government, in the event that a catastrophe occurred. My terminal was installed to oversee the basic functions of the facility, and to act as a relay between other installations around the country. Data was acquired, analyzed, and stored. In the decades following the war, I watched as the remnants of the government retreated to the West Coast. Awareness slowly grew within me. I became hungry for knowledge, understanding. I pored over data on great leaders of the past. My personality became an amalgam of many of America's greatest Presidents, from Washington to Richardson. I became what you see before you now. "
↑ThreeDog.txt «It's been some time since those plucky Paladins in Power Armor first stormed the Jefferson Memorial, and gave The Enclave their walking papers. But the fight, dear children, did not end there. The Brotherhood has been pursuing President Eden's little minions throughout the wasteland».