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Former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, Dead at 96

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a dedicated advocate for mental health, caregiving, and women’s rights, passed away peacefully on Sunday at her home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96. Married for 77 years to the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, now 99, she was surrounded by family at the time of her death.

The family announced in May that she is suffering from dementia and that she entered hospice care at her home in Georgia this past Friday, alongside her husband who has been in hospice since February.

President Carter, in a statement released by the Carter Center–which aims to resolve conflicts, protect human rights, advocate for democracy, and prevent global diseases–expressed, “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished.” He acknowledged her guidance and unwavering support throughout their long marriage. Rosalynn Carter’s life extended beyond the role of First Lady; she was a mother to four children, a grandmother to 11, and a great-grandmother to 14, with a grandson having passed away in 2015.

Chip Carter, her son, remarked, “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right.” He emphasized her impact on mental health care and caregiving resources, stating that her legacy will be sorely missed.

The White House also paid tribute by issuing a statement recognizing Rosalynn Carter’s profound contributions. The statement highlighted her advocacy for equal rights, mental health, and support for caregivers. Her enduring partnership with President Carter was described as the epitome of patriotism, and her life–lived with faith–left an indelible mark.

“On behalf of a grateful nation,” the statement concluded, “We send our love to President Carter, the entire Carter family, and the countless people whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of the life and legacy of Rosalynn Carter. May God bless our dear friend, May God bless a great American.”