Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter Passes Away at 96

Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the wife of ex-President Jimmy Carter, has sadly passed away at the age of 96. The Carter Center confirmed that she peacefully passed away with her family by her side. Her death comes after spending time in a hospice care home in Georgia, where she was able to be with her 99-year-old husband, who has been under hospice care since February. Mrs. Carter was diagnosed with dementia in May.

Rosalynn Carter, born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith on August 18, 1927, married President Carter on July 7, 1946, and together they had four children. The couple, who recently celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in July, were known as the longest-married first couple in US history.

Former President Jimmy Carter expressed his deep affection for his wife, 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.”

The impact of Rosalynn Carter’s passing extends beyond her immediate family. Her advocacy and work in mental health, early childhood immunization, and other humanitarian causes have left a lasting legacy. She dedicated her time as the first lady of Georgia to raising mental health awareness and reducing the stigma associated with mental illnesses. As the US First Lady, she served as the honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health, which played a crucial role in the passage of the 1980 act that provided funding for local mental health centers.

Even after leaving Washington, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter continued their humanitarian efforts by founding the Carter Center in 1982. Through this organization, she continued her advocacy for mental health and worked on initiatives such as early childhood immunization. The couple also played pivotal roles in the Habitat For Humanity charity, helping build homes for families in need.

Their dedication and impact were recognized in 2002 when Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Rosalynn Carter’s work and influence extended far beyond her role as the first lady, and her contributions to mental health issues have improved the lives of countless individuals living with mental illnesses.

Her passing leaves behind a loving family, including 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The Carters had previously lost a grandson in 2015, adding to the profound sense of loss felt by their family and loved ones.

Rosalynn Carter’s legacy will continue to be felt in the realms of mental health advocacy, early childhood immunization, and humanitarian causes. Her passion and dedication have undoubtedly made a significant impact, providing improved access to mental health care and resources for caregiving.

While her presence will be deeply missed, it is our responsibility as a society to carry on her work, ensuring that the Carter Center and its motto of “waging peace, fighting disease, and building hope” continue to make lasting change. Through our collective efforts, we can honor Rosalynn Carter and continue making positive strides towards a more compassionate and inclusive world.