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20 Nov, 2023 03:59

Former US first lady dies at 96

Rosalynn Carter, the wife of President Jimmy Carter, passed away on Sunday
Former US first lady dies at 96

Rosalynn Carter, the wife of the 39th US president, Jimmy Carter, died at her family home in Plains, Georgia on Sunday at the age of 96, the Carter Center has announced.

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy Carter, who is 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 former first lady was diagnosed with dementia in May. The Carter Center revealed on Friday that she had entered hospice care. Her husband has been undergoing home hospice care since February.

Eleanor Rosalynn Carter was born on August 18, 1927 in Plains, Georgia. She married Jimmy Carter in 1946, when she was just 18 and he was 21. Her husband went on to become the governor of Georgia and served as president from 1977 to 1981.

The first lady was known as a humanitarian and a mental health advocate. She was known as ‘Steel Magnolia’ by the press, who credited her for being the force behind her husband’s political career.

In an interview in 2015, Carter called his wife “the pinnacle” of his life, saying, “the best thing I ever did was marry Rosalyn.”

Guy DeLort / WWD / Penske Media / Getty Images

First Lady Jill Biden paid tribute to Carter at an event in Virginia on Sunday, praising her for “her efforts on mental health and caregiving and women’s rights.” President Joe Biden also said she “brought so much grace to the office.”

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also offered their condolences to Carter’s family, saying that Rosalynn was “a woman of dignity and strength.”