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Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter dies at 96 after entering hospice care

Rosalynn was married to the 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter attend the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 Person Of The Year Gala honoring Bob Dylan at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 6, 2015
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariOnline News WriterNew York
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Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has passed away at the age 96, two days after entering hospice care at her home in Georgia, according to the Carter Center.

The announcement on their website reads: "Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a passionate champion of mental health, caregiving, and women’s rights, passed away Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2:10 p.m. at her home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96. She died peacefully, with family by her side."

The First Lady was married for 77 years to Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, who is now 99 years old and also resides at their home in Atlanta.

Rosalynn Smith Carter, wife of American president Jimmy Carter. She grew up alongside the future president in Plains, Georgia and assisted him in running his family peanut farm. (circa 1970)© Getty Images
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has passed away aged 96

Her husband also shared an emotional statement after her passing, which says: "Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. 

"She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."

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She is survived by their four children, Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Her son Chip shared a statement as well.

Portrait of married couple, former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former American President Jimmy Carter as they attend a Habitat for Humanity event, Detroit, Michigan, June 22, 2005© Getty Images
She and former POTUS Jimmy Carter were married for 77 years

"Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right," Chip said. "Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today."

A memorial website in tribute to the renowned mental health advocate has already been set up, which includes the family condolence book and a portal for memorial gifts.

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It was announced on Friday that Rosalynn had entered hospice care while her husband Jimmy has been in hospice care since this February, although they celebrated his 99th birthday on October 1st with great fervor.

Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, celebrate victory in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary election, New Hampshire, February 24, 1976© Getty Images
Rosalynn remained a popular figure for her advocacy for mental health during her time at the White House and after

Throughout her life, Rosalynn was a staunch supporter of her husband's personal and political policies, often participating in cabinet meetings and foreign expeditions with him and remained a visible and active part of his political career.

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She used her platform to create strides in mental health awareness and helped in the expansion of non-profit and charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Center's mental health program.

Former President Jimmy Carter acknowledges applause during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts Monday July 26, 2004© Getty
The 39th President, meanwhile, has been in hospice care since February

In May, the former First Lady had been diagnosed with dementia, and a statement from the Carter Center shared that she was living at home while surrounded by family.

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It added: "As the founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, Mrs. Carter often noted that there are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers; those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. 

US First Lady Rosalynn Carter climbs the steps to her plane during a trip, Texas, September 1978.© Getty Images
"As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."

"The universality of caregiving is clear in our family, and we are experiencing the joy and the challenges of this journey. We do not expect to comment further and ask for understanding for our family and for everyone across the country serving in a caregiver role."

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