Former Brazilian first lady dies

June 25, 2008 at 10:24 PM

SAO PAULO, June 25 (UPI) -- Ruth Cardoso, a former first lady of Brazil who died of an apparent heart attack, was laid in state Wednesday as part of a national day of mourning.

Cardoso, 77, was widely regarded as a prominent academic and revered for her sociological studies of Brazil's most-impoverished neighborhoods, known as favelas.

She also helped form a public and private partnership group to help tackle poverty in Brazil.

Cardoso is survived by her three children and former President Henrique Cardoso, who led Brazil from 1995-2003.

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