Wife of Secretary of State Kerry taken to hospital

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, was rushed to a hospital in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on Sunday, a source close to the family said.

The 74-year-old philanthropist and heiress was in critical but stable condition, a Boston newspaper reported.

Heinz Kerry was transported to Cottage Hospital on Nantucket Island by ambulance. The source said her trip from the family's home was necessitated by a "medical condition" rather than an accident and gave no details.

"She was stricken around 4 p.m. and taken away by ambulance to the local hospital," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He (Kerry) is with her."

On its website, the Boston Herald newspaper quoted Cottage Hospital spokesman Noah Brown as saying Heinz Kerry was admitted to the emergency room in critical condition. Her condition has since stabilized, the paper quoted him as saying.

Brown said he had been asked to refer questions to the State Department, which declined comment.

Kerry and his wife have long vacationed on Nantucket, about 30 miles off the south coast of Cape Cod. Many wealthy Americans have summer homes there.

Heinz Kerry was born in the southern African nation of Mozambique and is the widow of Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz III, an heir to the Heinz food fortune.

Heinz, a Republican, died in a helicopter crash in 1991 and she married Kerry, then a Democratic U.S. senator from Massachusetts, in 1995 on Nantucket.

Kerry was one of the richest U.S. senators, mostly due to Heinz Kerry's fortune.

Heinz Kerry is known for being outspoken and famously told a reporter to "shove it" during her husband's unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004.

Kerry's second wife, she is the chairman of the Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies.

She is active in environmental issues, has served on numerous boards and has been awarded 10 honorary degrees, according to the Heinz Endowment's website.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Ian Simpson; Editing by Stacey Joyce and Eric Walsh)