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Elizabeth Edwards Dies at 61

Elizabeth Edwards Dies at 61


Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards who fought a long and very public struggle with breast cancer, died Tuesday. She was 61.

"Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family. We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life," the Edwards family said in a statement. "On behalf of Elizabeth we want to express our gratitude to the thousands of kindred spirits who moved and inspired her along the way. Your support and prayers touched our entire family."

CNN reports that Edwards died in her Chapel Hill, N.C., home with her family present -- a day after she announced in a statement posted on Facebook that she was no longer undergoing treatment for cancer at the advice of her doctors, who called any further attempts to treat the disease "unproductive."

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces -- my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope," Edwards wrote. "These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined."

During a 2007 pride event in San Francisco, Edwards spoke of her support for marriage equality -- a position at odds with that of her husband, from whom she legally separated in January after he admitted to fathering a child with Rielle Hunter, a videographer who worked on his 2008 presidential campaign.

"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," Edwards said in response to a question at an event for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."

She told The Advocate later that year that her position on the issue was nothing new: "There are a few more microphones and cameras in front of me than there used to be."

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