Leaders and Hollywood celebs alike are paying tribute to Elizabeth Edwards, who lost her six-year battle with cancer Tuesday morning. A best-selling author and furniture store owner, the 61-year-old was surrounded by her family and friends at the time of her passing.
"With the passing of Elizabeth Edwards, America has lost a symbol of strength, hope, and humanity, a tireless advocate for health care for all Americans, and determined crusader for cancer cures," former President Bill Clinton tells UsMagazine.com in a statement. "Her children have lost a loving mother, her friends a wise counselor. My prayers are with them. She was a remarkable woman who dealt with the challenges her life dealt her with courage and grace."
Current Vice President Joe Biden, 68, also issued a statement: "Elizabeth Edwards fought a brave battle against a terrible, ravaging disease that takes too many lives every day. She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and to those who felt they knew her."
The two men weren't the only political heavyweights to comment on the 61-year-old's legacy: Bill's wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also expressed her condolences in a written statement.
"America has lost a passionate advocate for building a more humane and just society, for reforming our health-care system, and for finding a cure for cancer once and for all," Hillary, 63, said. "But the Edwards family and her legion of friends have lost so much more — a loving mother, constant guardian, and wise counselor.
"Our thoughts are with the Edwards family at this time, and with all those people across the country who met Elizabeth over the years and found an instant friend — someone who shared their experiences and offered empathy, understanding and hope."
Senator John Kerry, who chose her husband John Edwards as his VP running mate in the 2004 election, said he was "grateful for the time we shared getting to know her."
Edwards also received an outpouring of support from celebrities on Twitter. Here's what they had to say:
Tour de France champ and fellow cancer survivor Lance Armstrong: "RIP Elizabeth. It was an honor to get to know you and be your friend…I, like millions more, will miss you dearly."
– Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin: Very sorry for Elizabeth Edward's family. May God comfort her kids, especially, through this tough time. God bless her family & loved ones.
– Former reality star Dina Manzo: Another wonderful life taken by this horrific disease…RIP Elizabeth Edwards : (
– Bravo's Andy Cohen: RIP Elizabeth Edwards. She went through so much!
– Actress Alyssa Milano: Rest in peace, Elizabeth Edwards.
– New Kids on the Block singer Jonathan Knight: So sad that Elizabeth Edwards has passed!
– Real Housewives of New Jersey star Caroline Manzo: Sad to hear about Elizabeth Edwards passing, she had tremendous courage and grace.
– Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak: Sad! RT @marcmalkin: CNN reporting Elizabeth Edwards has died. Sad. Really sad.
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