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Death is a quiet closing of a full and public life

Dec 8, 2010 12:50:00 AM - thestate.com
Elizabeth Anania Edwards, who became a national figure in her fight against cancer and as a partner in her husband's political career, died Tuesday. She was 61.

Edwards spent much of her life as a little-known Raleigh lawyer and mother. But that all changed when her husband, John Edwards, entered politics as a U.S. senator, two-time presidential candidate and Democratic nominee for vice president.

Her husband's career propelled her into the spotlight as a smart, plain-spoken wife who was a key adviser to her husband.

She later was admired for how she carried herself in her battle with breast cancer and the way she dealt with her husband's infidelity. And, in the past few years, her public image shifted again: the scorned woman whose husband fathered a child with another woman.

She and John Edwards separated at the beginning of this year but remained close.