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Rosalynn Carter, Influential Former First Lady, Passes Away at 96

Rosalynn Carter Passing
Image courtesy: Hindustan Times

Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, known for her impactful role beside President Jimmy Carter, died at 96, succumbing to dementia and declining health, according to The Carter Center.

Married for over 77 years, the Carters described their relationship as a “full partnership,” with Rosalynn often referred to as a “co-president” due to her active involvement in politics. Her strong political instincts and compassionate nature made her a key figure during President Carter’s term.

Rosalynn, an activist first lady, advocated for mental health and the elderly throughout her husband’s political career. Despite facing setbacks, she testified before a Senate subcommittee on mental health, becoming the first first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to address Congress.

Post-Washington, the Carters co-founded The Carter Center, focusing on humanitarian missions and global health. Rosalynn chaired the center’s mental health symposium, raising funds for mental health and homeless initiatives. The couple’s dedication extended to building houses with Habitat for Humanity and promoting public health and democracy worldwide.

Rosalynn’s resilience was evident during President Carter’s health challenges, including cancer and hip replacement surgery. As the nation’s second-longest-lived first lady, her influence remained profound even in the face of personal trials.

Eleanor Rosalynn Smith, born in Plains in 1927, navigated challenges from a young age, contributing to her family’s income while excelling academically. Her enduring partnership with Jimmy Carter began in 1946, leading to a lifetime of shared endeavors in politics, philanthropy, and advocacy.

In remembrance, the nation honors Rosalynn Carter’s legacy as a trailblazing first lady and influential partner on the global stage.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The Hindustan Times