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Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter passes away at 96

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Rosalynn Carter, a pivotal figure in American politics and global humanitarian efforts, passed away at the age of 96 on Sunday.


The Carter Center announced that the former First Lady died peacefully at her home in rural Georgia, surrounded by her family. She had been living with dementia and experiencing declining health for several months. Former President Jimmy Carter, in a statement, remembered her as his equal partner, providing him with unwavering support and guidance throughout their life together.

Rosalynn Carter, who was married to Jimmy Carter for over 77 years, played a unique and influential role during her husband’s presidency from 1977 to 1981 and in their subsequent humanitarian work. Unlike many of her predecessors, she was actively involved in policy-making, frequently attended Cabinet meetings, and represented the President on foreign trips. Her political acumen and influence were widely recognized within the White House, with aides often referring to her informally as a “co-president.” Her advocacy extended beyond the political realm, focusing on mental health and the well-being of the elderly, making significant contributions in these areas.

After Jimmy Carter’s presidency, the couple continued their humanitarian work through The Carter Center in Atlanta, focusing on mental health, public health, and promoting democracy worldwide. Rosalynn’s dedication to mental health led her to become an honorary chairwoman of the President’s Commission on Mental Health and to testify before Congress. Despite the loss of the 1980 election, Rosalynn remained politically engaged and was an essential figure in the Carter’s post-presidential life. The Carters’ enduring partnership and mutual respect were a hallmark of their public and private lives. Rosalynn Carter’s legacy is marked by her tireless advocacy, deep compassion, and significant contributions to American society and global humanitarian causes. Ceremonies celebrating her life will take place in Atlanta and Sumter County, Georgia, following the Thanksgiving holiday.