Betsy Ebeling, known to many as a human rights advocate and Hillary Clinton’s best friend, died over the weekend, according to multiple people close to her.
As first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebeling, who met Hillary when their pair were growing up in Park Ridge, a suburb northwest of Chicago, died Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer.
“I knew that her cancer had come back but thought we would all have more time with her,” a friend told NBC 5 Monday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was "heartbroken" over the loss of his friend.
"Betsy Ebeling dedicated her career to advancing human rights here in Illinois and fighting for a better future for people across our nation," he tweeted Monday. "Like her many friends, I loved Betsy for her kindness, sense of humor and her genuineness."
Ebeling has been friends with Clinton since they were young grammar school friends, with Clinton even attending Ebeling’s daughter’s wedding.
Ebeling joined Hillary through many pivotal moments in her political journey. Among those moments was the time the pair witnessed riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Telling their parents they were going to a movie, Ebeling and Clinton drove down to Grant Park and walked through clouds of tear gas, past battles between cops and antiwar demonstrators.
The Vietnam War, Ebeling said, “was a huge dividing point for all of us. I think we were all really questioning it. All of that, McCarthy and all of that stuff, had come to a point where we decided we couldn’t support an organization that was for the war.”
Ebeling went on to host numerous fundraising events for her dear friend and cast the Illinois delegate votes for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016, a moment she recalled in an op-ed for Teen Vogue as “one of the most incredible moment of my life.”
“On this historic, wonderful day, in honor of ... my sweet friend — I know you’re watching — this one’s for you, Hill,” she said.
Clinton has not publicly commented on the news of her friend’s passing.