Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter Dies At 96
Former president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn prior to the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, died “peacefully” on Sunday afternoon at their home in Plains, Georgia, accompanied by family, according to the Carter Center.

The former first lady was 96 years old.

The Carters were married to each other for 77 years, a union that included their peanut farm days, Jimmy’s Carter’s Georgia governorship, a term in the White House, and decades of community service.

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy Carter, who is now 99, said in a statement. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”

The Carter Center announced in May that Rosalynn Carter had dementia and on Friday shared an update that said she had entered hospice care alongside her husband. Jimmy Carter opted to forgo further “medical intervention” for his health and instead receive hospice care while spending time with family, the center said in February.

Describing Rosalynn Carter as a “passionate champion of mental health, caregiving, and women’s rights,” the Carter Center said on Sunday that the former first lady was survived by her children — Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy — and 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A grandson died in 2015, the center noted.

“Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right,” Chip Carter said in a statement. “Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today.”

Tributes to Rosalynn Carter quickly began to inundate social media with news of her death.

“First Lady Rosalynn Carter dedicated her life to serving others. America has lost a passionate humanitarian and champion for people all over the world. My heart goes out to her entire family,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The Carter Center said a schedule of memorial events and funeral ceremonies for Rosalynn Carter will be distributed “as soon as possible” to media and posted online.

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