Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady known for her advocacy in mental health care, her political acumen, and her enduring marriage to President Jimmy Carter, passed away at the age of 96 at her home in Plains, Georgia. She had entered hospice care on Friday.
Widely praised for her political insight and down-to-earth appeal, Rosalynn Carter played a crucial role in her husband’s political career, offering electoral instincts and serving as a White House envoy to Latin America. Beyond politics, she dedicated herself to various social causes, including health care, human rights, social justice, and support for the elderly.
Rosalynn Carter’s impact extended to mental health advocacy, and she celebrated the progress made in the field, stating, “Twenty-five years ago, we did not dream that people might someday be able actually to recover from mental illnesses.” However, in May, the Carter Center announced that she had been diagnosed with dementia.
Born in Plains, Georgia, in 1927, Rosalynn Carter assumed significant responsibilities at a young age after her father’s death. She married Jimmy Carter in 1946, and their union became the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history. Rosalynn actively participated in her husband’s political endeavors, aiding his gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.
In the post-White House years, the Carters engaged in humanitarian projects, notably with Habitat for Humanity. They founded the Carter Center in 1982, focusing on human rights, and Rosalynn established the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving in 1989.
Rosalynn Carter’s legacy encompasses her commitment to mental health, her influential role in her husband’s political journey, and her enduring partnership, making her a revered figure in American history.