She died Monday morning of congestive heart failure at the University of Chicago Hospital. She was 68.
Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, tweeted that "Today I have lost by best friend, the love of my life, my confidant and my best half. Carolyn I will always love you."
Carolyn Rush had been battling illness for the last two years.
The couple was married for 36 years and had a blended family of seven children and 11 grandchildren.
Today I have lost by best friend, the love of my life, my confidant and my best half. Carolyn I will always love you.— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) March 13, 2017
In a statement, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said: "Carolyn was brave, brilliant and kind. She was the great woman, not behind the great man, but at her husband's side - freedom fighters and partners in the long struggle for racial, social and economic justice in Chicago, across the country and around the world. Death won't erase her specific genius, her contributions, her spirit, her will. Death is not a period. It is a comma, a pause, as we keep moving toward a higher end."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said: "Carolyn Rush was a loving mother, a committed partner to Congressman Rush, and an uplifting voice for compassion and inclusion in the City of Chicago. Amy and I join Chicagoans throughout the city in extending our deepest condolences to Congressman Rush, the entire Rush family, and all those who are mourning her loss."