Leaders, Stars Pay Tribute to Elizabeth Edwards

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Political leaders and Hollywood celebrities alike are paying tribute after the death of Elizabeth Edwards, who lost a six-year battle with cancer Tuesday.

The lawyer, author and mother of three was just 61.

Having separated from John Edwards after three decades of marriage and following his affair with Rielle Hunter, her passing is even more poignant.

Elizabeth Edwards (1949-2010).

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said the following: "Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. This afternoon I spoke to Cate Edwards and John Edwards, and offered our family's condolences."

"I came to know and admire Elizabeth over the course of the presidential campaign. She was a tenacious advocate for fixing our health care system and fighting poverty, and our country has benefited from the voice she gave to the cause of building a society that lifts up all those left behind."

"In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain. 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. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends."

He wasn't the only chief executive to express his condolences.

"With the passing of Elizabeth Edwards, America 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 said 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."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also expressed her condolences:

"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."

"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."

Vice President Joe Biden said that "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."

Edwards' death also resonated on Twitter. Just a few Tweets from stars:

  • Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin: "Very sorry for Elizabeth Edwards' 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!"
  • Alyssa Milano: "Rest in peace, Elizabeth Edwards."
  • 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."