Rosalynn Carter has died, aged 96.
The former first lady was the wife of the 39th US president Jimmy Carter and her passing, revealed on Sunday (19.11.23), came after she was diagnosed with dementia on May 30, when her husband, 99, received hospice care in their home in Georgia. .
Sir. Carter – the oldest living ex-leader in America – said in a tribute to her late partner: “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I have ever achieved.
“She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew someone loved and supported me.”
In February, The Carter Center revealed that the former president had decided to spend the rest of his days at home with his family.
The center praised Rosalynn as “a passionate campaigner for mental health, care and women’s rights”.
She is survived by her children – Jack, Chip, Jeff and Amy – as well as 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
One of her grandchildren died in 2015.
Born in Plains, Georgia, Rosalynn was the oldest of four children of Wilburn and Alletha Smith.
The family grew up in a small town and nurtured strong ties to family and dedication to church and community.
Rosalynn’s father died of leukemia when she was 13, and she became a homemaker to help support her mother and siblings before marrying Jimmy Carter in 1945.
They married after Jimmy returned home from the US Naval Academy during his freshman year at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Georgia.
Rosalynn ventured into politics as a key member of her husband’s 1970 bid for governor of Georgia.
When Jimmy announced his plans to run for the White House, Rosalynn campaigned independently on his behalf in 41 states, where her husband won the 1976 presidential election by defeating incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford.