Hillary Clinton has led political tributes following the death of Pat Hume, the widow of former SDLP leader John Hume.
Mrs Hume passed away in Londonderry following a short illness on Thursday.
Mrs Clinton and her husband Bill made several visits to Northern Ireland. During their first visit in 1995, shortly after the IRA ceasefires, they visited Derry and walked across the city’s Peace Bridge with the Humes.
Mrs Clinton tweeted: “Pat Hume was a gracious, determined force behind the achievement of peace in Ireland.
“She and her husband John both made the world a better place and set an example for us all. Sending my condolences to her family.”
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that Pat Hume had lived a “unique life”.
He said: “My deepest sympathies to the Hume family on the death of Pat Hume. A unique life well lived and no one who met John left the conversation without knowing Pat. A lovely lady.”
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald, said she had been left “deeply saddened” by the news.
She added: “I extend my deepest condolences to her family and friends. She will be sadly missed by her children, extended family and friends, colleagues and the people of Derry.”
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said Mrs Hume’s dedication to peace “was total”.
She said: “Very sorry to hear Pat Hume has passed away – an absolute lady, warm & friendly, always encouraging. Her dedication to peace was total as was her dedication to John esp. in his latter years.”
Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie tweeted: “Although we never met I am saddened by the death of Pat Hume. My thoughts are with her family.”
Irish President Michael D Higgins said Pat Hume had made an “extraordinary contribution to life on this island and beyond”.
He added: “The life of Pat Hume was one of total commitment to community, to the possibilities of peace, to the measures of non-violence that were necessary to assert, vindicate and achieve the results of civil rights.
“While her support of the work of her late husband and Nobel Prize recipient, John Hume, was an exercise in solidarity, a partnership in courage, endurance and fortitude, her personal contribution was unique, immense and important in its own right.
“Pat’s personal contribution as teacher, mother, in conditions of conflict, political adviser, constituency secretary and consoler of the victims of oppression from so many sources, was extraordinary in every sense.”
Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown said Pat Hume was “small in stature, but a colossus” in Irish history.
He added: “She was the rock behind the man who rightly has been credited as the architect of our current peace.
“In the course of that long and challenging journey towards the peace we enjoy today Pat was brave, courageous and uncompromising, yet she was always gentle and profound in respect for other people and their opinions.”