President Barack Obama says he and his wife Michelle were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Elizabeth Edwards.
Obama issued a statement Tuesday calling her a "tenacious advocate" for health care reform and fighting poverty. He said the entire country has benefited from the voice she gave to such causes.
Obama noted that he came to know and admire Elizabeth during the 2008 presidential campaign. Her estranged husband, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, was defeated by Obama in the Democratic nomination process.
The president said he had spoken to John Edwards and their daughter Cate in the afternoon.