the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Statement by Vice President Biden on the Passing of Nuala Pell

Jill and I were saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend, Nuala Pell. She and her husband, Senator Clairborne Pell, were among our closest friends. They embraced me in my earliest days in the Senate, after I had lost my wife and daughter. I spent many memorable evenings in their company, and through all the years we served together, I always knew I had a welcome home in Washington with the Pells. 

I also remember the love and partnership that marked their marriage. Senator Pell used to keep a pillow in his office embroidered with the words, "Happiness is being married to your best friend." Nuala and Claiborne worked side by side on every issue, whether it was on behalf of the elderly, or women's health care, or the arts and humanities, or access to education. After Claiborne passed, Nuala continued her lifetime of service, creating the Nuala Pell Leadership Program in Public Service to give future leaders the skills to enter public service. Her lifetime of service will live on through the next generation of leaders she helped grow, and in the hearts of her many friends.