Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeForeignFormer US First Lady, Rosalynn Carter Dies At 96

Former US First Lady, Rosalynn Carter Dies At 96

Rosalynn Carter who was diagnosed with dementia in May, entered hospice care at home on Friday, joining her husband, who has been in hospice care since February, choosing to forgo further medical intervention for his health issues.

Rosalynn Carter, the beloved former first lady and wife of the 39th president, Jimmy Carter, passed away at the age of 96 in the couple’s Georgia home.

She was diagnosed with dementia in May, entered hospice care at home on Friday, joining her husband, who has been in hospice care since February, choosing to forgo further medical intervention for his health issues.

In a statement released by the Carter Center, Jimmy Carter expressed the profound impact of his partner’s influence on his life: “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. 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.”

Mrs. Carter peacefully passed away at 2:10 pm ET, surrounded by family. A dedicated online tribute book is available at www.rosalynncartertribute.org.

Chip Carter, the couple’s middle son, reflected on his mother’s multifaceted legacy: “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary first lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right. 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.”

Born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in August 1927 in Plains, Georgia, a small rural town where her husband was also born and raised, Rosalynn Carter was an unwavering ally throughout Jimmy Carter’s political career. Beyond her role as first lady, she distinguished herself as a mental health advocate and social justice activist.

In 1987, she founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, remaining actively involved in the organization into her later years. The Carter Center, a human rights non-profit founded by the couple, acknowledged her dedication to mental health advocacy in a statement earlier this year when announcing her dementia diagnosis.

First lady Jill Biden paid tribute to Carter, emphasizing her integrity, during an event in Virginia. Former president George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, praised Carter as “a woman of dignity and strength,” while former House speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to her as a “saintly and revered public servant.”

Rosalynn Carter’s impact extended beyond American borders. In 1977, she embarked on a historic diplomatic mission to Latin America, ushering in a new era of engagement in the region.

Two years later, she became the first sitting first lady to address the World Health Organization, advocating for mental health as an integral aspect of physical health and asserting health as a human right.

The Carters were also dedicated supporters of Habitat for Humanity, actively raising awareness and funds for the Carter Work Project, a testament to their commitment to helping families worldwide. The Georgia-based charity expressed sadness over her passing, describing her as a “compassionate and committed champion of #HabitatforHumanity.”

In September, the couple made one of their final public appearances at the Plains Peanut Festival, riding together in the parade just days before Jimmy Carter’s 99th birthday.

Their enduring love story began during the second world war when they met at the US naval academy in Maryland. Married in 1946, they worked together on the Carter family’s peanut farm until Jimmy’s political career took precedence.

Rosalynn Carter’s influence reached far beyond her role as the first lady. She leaves behind a legacy of advocacy, compassion, and devotion that has touched countless lives.

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