Elizabeth Edwards, who as the wife of former Senator John Edwards gave America an intimate look at a candidate’s marriage by sharing his quest for the 2008 presidential nomination as she struggled with incurable cancer died Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C. She was 61.Her family confirmed the death. A family friend said Mrs. Edwards was surrounded by family and friends when she died shortly after 10:15 a.m. On Monday, two family friends said that her cancer had spread to her liver and that doctors had advised against further medical treatment.
Mrs. Edwards posted a Facebook message to friends on Monday, saying, “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.” She added: “The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that.”
In a life of idyllic successes and crushing reverses, Mrs. Edwards was an accomplished lawyer, the mother of four children and the wife of a wealthy senator with sights on the White House. But their 16-year-old son was killed in a car crash, cancer struck her at age 55, the political dreams died.
Mrs. Edwards, a savvy political adviser who took on major roles in her husband’s two campaigns for the White House, learned she had a tumor on Election Day 2004, when the Democratic ticket – Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and Mr. Edwards, his running mate from North Carolina – lost to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.