Rosalynn Carter, a celebrated former First Lady and renowned women's rights advocate, passed away at the age of 96.
The Carter Center confirmed her death, noting she had been in hospice care for two days following a six-month battle with dementia.
Rosalynn, who shared a remarkable 77-year marriage with President Jimmy Carter, died surrounded by her loving family at their home in Plains, Georgia.
Rosalynn's legacy is carried on by her children — Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy — along with her 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, though she also mourned the loss of a grandson in 2015.
President Carter, 99, expressed his deep sense of loss, stating: “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."
Chip Carter, reflecting on his mother's impact, said, “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right.
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."
First Lady Jill Biden shared the news at a Naval Station Norfolk event, saying, "The former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has just passed," highlighting Rosalynn's influential work in mental health, caregiving, and women's rights.
In their final days, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, who is also in hospice care, were said to be 'spending time together'.
The couple holds the record for the longest marriage in U.S. presidential history, having met when Jimmy was three and Rosalynn was a newborn. They celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary on July 7, 2023.
Rosalynn's role as a supportive partner was evident throughout their life together, especially during Jimmy's presidency from 1977 to 1981. She was an active participant in cabinet meetings and played a crucial role as her husband's personal envoy.
Reflecting on their enduring partnership, Jimmy once said, “Marrying her was the best thing I ever did." He emphasized the importance of reconciliation and communication in their marriage, adding that they read the Bible together aloud each night.
Rosalynn's commitment to mental health advocacy was a defining aspect of her life's work. The Carter Center, acknowledging her diagnosis with dementia, highlighted her lifelong dedication to mental health and caregiving advocacy.
Tributes poured in from prominent figures, including Senate leader Chuck Schumer, former Vice-President Al Gore, House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Texas senator Ted Cruz, all of whom praised Rosalynn's compassion and humanitarian efforts.
Rosalynn's passing comes after President Carter battled various health issues, including cancer and dehydration, yet remained active in public life until recent times.
The Carter Center has announced plans to set up an online condolence book and will publish details of memorial events and funeral ceremonies soon.
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