Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter passes away at 96
Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady and wife of ex-President Jimmy Carter, has peacefully passed away at the age of 96, as confirmed by the Carter Center. Her death comes after a recent diagnosis of dementia, and she spent her final moments in a hospice care home in Georgia, alongside her 99-year-old husband, who has been in hospice care since February.
Described by Jimmy Carter as his “equal partner in everything,” Rosalynn played a significant role throughout her husband’s political career. The longest-married first couple celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in July, with Jimmy Carter expressing profound gratitude for her wise guidance and unwavering support.
Born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in 1927, she married Jimmy Carter in 1946, and together they had four children. Her son, Chip Carter, praised her as an extraordinary first lady, a loving mother, and a humanitarian, highlighting her impact on mental health awareness and caregiving resources.
Rosalynn Carter’s advocacy for mental health began during her husband’s political career, where she focused on reducing stigma and improving services for the mentally ill. As US First Lady, she became honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health, contributing to the passage of a vital act in 1980.
After leaving Washington, the Carters founded the Carter Centre in 1982, continuing their humanitarian work in mental health, childhood immunisation, and other causes. They were also instrumental in the Habitat for Humanity charity, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for their outstanding contributions.
US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Rosalynn Carter, recognising her inspiring journey and the positive impact she made on countless lives. Former First Lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush, along with Laura Bush, expressed gratitude for her dignity, strength, and unwavering support throughout the years. Rosalynn Carter’s legacy extends beyond her role as the first lady, leaving a lasting imprint on mental health issues and humanitarian causes.