Rosalynn Carter, Former US President Jimmy Carter's wife, has died. She was 96 years old. According to the Carter Center, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter died peacefully surrounded by her family.
A well respected first lady, Rosalynn Carter was also known for her dedication to the social justice, charitable and philanthropic causes, after her husband left the Oval Office. Her focus was on mental illness, homelessness, and human rights. As the first lady, it was reported that she was a key in helping her husband President Jimmy Carter, to write and refine his speeches, while also advising on key issues, especially those related to social justice.
After leaving the White House, following their calling to pursue social justice and human rights, the devout Southern Baptists couple traveled the world to play major roles in monitoring elections and working to eradicate tropical diseases. Due to that dedication, Former President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Although known for being shy, Rosalynn Carter, was nicknamed the "Steel Magnolia” by the press in reference to her interview with C-SPAN in which she said that “steel is tough and magnolia is southern”.
Rosalynn Carter and Jimmy Carter had been married for 77 years, the longest marriage of a presidential couple in the world history. According to the couple, the secret of their longest marriage lied into "a full partnership.” and the blessing to "marry the right person if you want to have a long-lasting marriage.”
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Rosalynn Carter was born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in Plains, Georgia, USA in 1927, from a working family. Her father died when she was when she was 13 years old. Hence, as a teenager she worked with her mother to support the family. She attended Georgia Southwestern College, currently a part of Georgia Southwestern State University. It is while in college that she began dating Jimmy Carter, then in the U.S. Naval Academy, and who was also from Plains, Georgia. They got married in 1946.
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter had four children, 12 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. A prolific writer, especially documenting her life, Rosalynn Carter authored five books in her lifetime: “First Lady from Plains”; “Everything To Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life” – co-authored with Jimmy Carter; “Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book For Caregivers”; “Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers”; and “Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis.” She served as a deacon for her church in Plains, Georgia, USA.
Her passing was celebrated by other former first ladies.
First lady Jill Biden celebrated Rosalynn Carter’s life on Sunday, during a Naval Station Norfolk holiday event, telling service members and their families that, “The former first lady Rosalyn Carter has just passed. And she was well known for her efforts on mental health and caregiving and women’s rights.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama said that Rosalynn Carter well understood that the role of first lady is “largely shaped by the passions and aspirations of the person holding it” and said “she reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did.”, adding: “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others,” Michelle Obama added.
Former first lady Laura Bush said that Rosalynn Carter was “a woman of dignity and strength.”
@AfroAmerica Network 2023
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