Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards Dies

Caption: Elizabeth Edwards in Reno, Nevada, during her husband John's 2008 Presidential campaign.

Image credit: John Edwards 2008/Wikimedia

It's hard to call a death due to a well-known case of cancer sudden, but this feels like it. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of one-time Presidential candidate John Edwards, died today of cancer at age 61. Talking Points Memo reports:
Edwards first made public the cancer that would eventually take her life just days after her husband lost the 2004 presidential election at the side of Democratic nominee John Kerry. Following the admission and treatment, Edwards' cancer went into remission before returning -- in metastatic form -- in 2007. That was the year John launched his second campaign for the presidency, which fizzled out before the revelations came to light that he had an affair with and fathered a child by a campaign videographer.

By her own account, neither the cancer diagnosis nor the family collapse was likely the toughest thing Edwards faced, however. In 1996, her 16 year-old son, Wade, was killed in a car wreck coming home from the family's beach house. Edwards left her law practice after the tragedy and dropped her maiden name, Anania, in favor of her son's last name. In the wake of Wade's death, the Edwards family established the Wade Edwards Foundation to help high school students in school. The Edwards family has requested donations be made to the foundation in Elizabeth's name following her death.

Elizabeth Edwards Dead At 61
Elizabeth Edwards was a classy lady. In an article back in 2008, I referred to Elizabeth Edwards' discussion of how things were on the campaign trail:
[T]his is a terrific essay by someone who, as she put it, had a front-row seat in this Presidential campaign[.]

Elizabeth Edwards On The State Of Journalism
She had more than her share of heartbreaks in that campaign, and some were at the hands of a press that favors the superficial and establishment-leaning stories over anything of real substance or importance. As she often did in her life, Elizabeth chose to make lemonade out of those lemons, too.

She was a classy lady, and both she and her candor will be sorely missed.

Afterword: For those interested, the TPM article has all the usual details about survivors, etc.

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