Remembering Elizabeth Edwards: 1949-2010

Through politics, scandals and her public battle with cancer, the onetime senator's wife was the model of grace under fire


"There are the things she taught without words ... how to continue to live your life on your own terms when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it," said Cate Edwards about mother Elizabeth, who was thrust into the national spotlight in 2004 when her husband, former Sen. John Edwards, became the Democratic nominee for Vice President. Her first and second battles with cancer again pushed her into the headlines, but it was her grace under fire – amid her husband's affair and subsequent love child – that made her an admired woman. "I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope," Edwards, 61, wrote in her final Facebook post, a day before she died of cancer on Dec. 7, 2010.