Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, died on Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She had battled breast cancer since her diagnosis in 2004.

Edwards decided to stop treatment for the disease after her doctors determined that treatment had become "unproductive." She returned home to be with her family.

Edwards, 61, had spent much of the past few years under scrutiny, once as a potential First Lady when her husband ran for president in 2008, and just over a year later in the scandal that surrounded his infidelity with a campaign aide. Edwards separated from her husband in January of 2010, after learning that he had fathered a child with his mistress.

Praise for Elizabeth and support of the Edwards family is pouring in from the highest offices in Washington. President Barack Obama released and a statement saying, "Through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration." Former President Bill Clinton said of Edwards, "She was a remarkable woman who dealt with the challenges her life dealt her with courage and grace."

The Edwards family is thankful for all the support. "Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family," they said in a statement. "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." Edwards is survived by her three children, Cate, 28; Emma Claire, 12, and Jack, 10. —KIMBERLY STEELE

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