Former US first lady Rosalynn Carter dies at 96
Former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter, who President Jimmy Carter called "an extension of myself" owing to her prominent role in his administration even as she tirelessly promoted the cause of mental health, died on Sunday (November 19) at age 96, the Carter Center said.
She did peacefully with her family by her side, a statement said.
In May 2023, the Carter family had said she had dementia but was continuing to live happily at the couple's home in Plains, Georgia.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were the longest-married presidential couple, having wed in 1946 when he was 21 and she was 18. After his solo term ended in 1981, he also enjoyed more post-White House years than any president before him, and she played an instrumental role during those years, including as part of the nonprofit Carter Center and the Habitat for Humanity charity.
"The best thing I ever did was marry Rosalynn," Carter told the C-SPAN cable TV channel in 2015. "That's the pinnacle of my life."
She was seen as unassuming and quiet before coming to Washington in 1977 but developed into an eloquent speaker, campaigner and activist.
Her abiding passion, which carried far beyond her White House years, was for the mentally ill, not because of any personal connection but because of a strong feeling that advocacy was needed.
Before Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976, Roslynn was largely unknown outside of Georgia, where her husband had been a peanut farmer-turned-governor. A Democrat, he served one four-year term, losing his 1980 re-election bid to Ronald Reagan, a Republican former California governor and Hollywood actor.