“Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth’s presence but she remains the heart of this family,” the statement said. “We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life. 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.”
A family friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that Edwards died at 10:15 a.m. in North Carolina. People magazine reported Monday that Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer had spread to her liver and doctors were recommending against additional treatment. Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004, the same day the Democratic presidential ticket headed by Sen. John Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, lost the White House race. Three years later, Elizabeth Edwards learned that the cancer had returned. John Edwards, at the time, was preparing to run again for president. She has been legally separated from her husband since January 2010. John Edwards admitted, after months of denials, that he had fathered a child with videographer Rielle Hunter, with whom he had had an affair. President Obama and his wife, Michelle, expressed condolences to the Edwards family. “In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain,” Obama said in a statement. “Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up. But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration.” Edwards, 61,had four children: Wade, who died at age 16 in a 1996 car accident; Cate, 28, a Washington lawyer; Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10.