Tributes have begun pouring in for Elizabeth Edwards, who lost her battle with cancer Tuesday after six years of battling the disease.
The wife of former presidential candidate and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was 61 years old.
"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards," President Barack Obama said in a statement Tuesday.
"In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain. Many others in the face of such adversity would have given up," the state read. "But through all that she endured. Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration."
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also expressed sadness at the news of Edwards' passing.
"She made her mark on America, and she will not be forgotten," Clinton said. "She not only lived with cancer, but she lived with cancer," said Michael Goldman, who worked on the Edwards campaign. "She lived a life. She had success."
Mrs. Edwards died at her Chapel Hill, N.C. home on Tuesday surrounded by family and friends. Doctors had predicted that further treatment would be unproductive, the Edwards family said in a statement.
In a message she left on her Facebook page, Edwards revealed the courage and strength that have become her staple.
"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered," Edwards wrote. "We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful."
A friend, who was among those who gathered with Edwards, told The Associated Press earlier that she was gravely ill.
The friend said Edwards was briefly hospitalized last week and received treatment, but doctors have now told her that she may only have up to a couple months of life left.
"It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel towards everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know," Mrs. Edwards, a popular figure among Democratic activists, wrote in the Facebook post.
Edwards has battled breast cancer since 2004, when she was diagnosed in the final days of the campaign when her husband was the Democratic vice presidential nominee.