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Sun Nov 19, 2023, 04:20 PM Nov 2023

Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady and Mental Health Advocate, Dead at 96 [View all]


Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady and Mental Health Advocate, Dead at 96
The former first lady who dedicated her life to mental health and human rights advocacy died at her Plains, Georgia, home on Sunday afternoon, two days after entering hospice care
By Lindsay Kimble and Kyler Alvord
Published on November 19, 2023 03:14PM EST

Rosalynn Carter, a lifelong advocate for mental health and human rights, died on Sunday afternoon, two days after she entered hospice care following a dementia diagnosis in May. She was 96.

Rosalynn was married to the nation’s 39th president, Jimmy Carter, for more than 75 years, and served as the first lady during his tenure from 1977 to 1981. She is survived by their four children and numerous grandchildren and great-children. Jimmy, who terminated medical intervention in February amid his own health challenges at the age of 99, remains in hospice care at home.

Born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in Plains, Georgia, on Aug. 18, 1927, the future first lady was the oldest of four children, and took on many of the family responsibilities after her father died of leukemia when she was just 13.

After graduating high school, she attended Georgia Southwestern College in nearby Americus. It was after her freshman year in 1945 that she met the former president, who was back home in Plains from the U.S. Naval Academy. They were wed the following year.


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