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Elizabeth Edwards Dies of Cancer

Elizabeth Edwards testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, 20 Oct 2009

The estranged wife of former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

A statement released Tuesday by Elizabeth Edwards' family said they "will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life."

U.S. President Barack Obama called Edwards a "tenacious advocate" for fixing the U.S. health care system and fighting poverty. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she had "made her mark on America" and will not be forgotten.

The 61-year-old Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.

Edwards and her husband separated after he admitted to having an extramarital affair with another woman, with whom he fathered a child.

John Edwards rose to national prominence as the vice presidential running mate of Senator John Kerry in 2004. Edwards later decided to run for president, but dropped out of the 2008 campaign after falling behind Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in early primaries.