Former first lady, who died Sunday at the age of 96, is being remembered for her devotion to her family, the nation, and humanitarian work around the world. She is survived by her husband of 77 years, former President Jimmy Carter, who is 99.
The Carter Center said she died “peacefully, with family by her side,” at her home in Plains, Georgia. She had beenand had recently entered .
Born in Plains on Aug. 18, 1927, the oldest of four children, Rosalynn Smith was 18 when she started dating Jimmy Carter. They married a year later, in 1946.
The Carters lived in several cities around the world when Jimmy Carter served in the Navy, before returning to Plains to run his family’s peanut business. Along the way, they had three sons and one daughter.
She campaigned by his side when he entered politics, and was a trusted adviser to her husband throughout their time in public life.
Jimmy Carter was elected governor of Georgia in 1970, and in 1976, he ran for president. He won the Democratic nomination and went on to defeat Republican Gerald Ford on Election Day.
After they moved into the White House, Rosalynn Carter used the first lady’s office as a platform to promote better understanding of mental illness, and served as the honorary chairperson of the President’s Commission on Mental Health.
President Carter lost his bid for reelection in 1980, and the Carters began a new phase of their lives.
They founded the Carter Center in Atlanta, with a mission of promoting peace and conflict resolution. And they worked for decades on behalf of Habitat for Humanity to build new homes for the poor.
“She was a partner in good deeds with her husband, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, as they traversed the globe to strengthen democracy, resolve conflicts, advance human rights, and eliminate debilitating diseases after their time in the White House,” staff of the Carter Center wrote in a tribute following her death. “She will ever inspire us.”
Here are more photos from Rosalynn Carter’s extraordinary life: