PLAINS, Ga. (WRBL) — Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of President Jimmy Carter, died Sunday afternoon in Plains, Ga., according to The Carter Center.
She was 96 years old.
She and the former president were married for more than 77 years. She sat in on Cabinet meetings and spoke out on controversial issues, unlike many prior first ladies.
President Carter even sent her on a trip to Latin America to tell dictators he meant what he said on human rights.
The pair was so close, some White House aides privately referred to Rosalynn as “co-president.”
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” President Carter said. “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.”
She is survived by children Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, as well as 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
“Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right,” said Chip Carter. “Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today.”
A prominent mental health advocate, she served as chair for The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force.
“We are heartbroken by the passing of former First Lady, lifelong humanitarian, and our beloved founder, Rosalynn Carter,” said the center. “Mrs. Carter spent her life fighting for mental health parity and lifting up the voices of family caregivers. “
The Carter Center says her memorial events and funeral services are to be released this week.
Rosalynn Carter’s digital tribute book can be signed at www.rosalynncartertribute.org.
- PHOTOS: Rosalynn Carter through the years
- Presidents, lawmakers and more pay tribute to Rosalynn Carter
- Alabama leaders on death of former first lady Rosalynn Carter
- Sen. Ossoff issues statement on passing of First Lady Rosalynn Carter
- Georgia Governor Kemp on the passing of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter