Biden pays tribute to former first lady Rosalynn Carter: ‘She brought so much grace to office’
Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former president Jimmy Carter’s wife, died at the age of 96 on Sunday.
The Carter Center announced the former first lady’s death just two days after she entered hospice care at the couple’s home in Plains, Georgia. Rosalynn is survived by her husband, four children, 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and a legacy of mental health advocacy.
Jimmy Carter, 99, who is also in hospice care, paid tribute to his wife in a statement saying, “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished.”
“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,” he added.
The couple’s son, Chip Carter, said, “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right. Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans.”
President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump both paid tribute to the former first lady, with the former remembering her as a “dear friend”.
Who are Rosalynn Carter’s’ children?
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter had four children together throughout their 77 years of marriage.
The oldest child, John William “Jack” Carter was born on July 3, 1947.
He was raised in Plains, Georgia and worked on the family’s peanut farm before attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and Georgia Southwestern University. Like his father, he joined the Navy.
Their second child is James Earl “Chip” Carter III who was born on April 12, 1950. He was born in Hawaii while Mr Carter was stationed there during his Navy service. He worked in his family’s peanut warehouse before being elected to the Plains city council.
The Carter’s third child is Donel Jeffrey “Jeff” Carter, born on August 18, 1952. He attended Georgia Southwestern University and then George Washington University.
The fourth child, and only daughter, is Amy Lynn Carter who was born on October 18, 1967. She is the only Carter child to have spent her childhood in the White House.
Ariana Baio20 November 2023 16:01
Misconceptions about the Carter administration
MISCONCEPTION: Ronald Reagan freed the American hostages in Iran.
MORE ACCURATE: Carter and his administration negotiated their release, but Tehran wouldn’t free them until after Reagan’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981.
MISCONCEPTION: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter founded Habitat for Humanity.
MORE ACCURATE: The Carters have been Habitat’s most famous endorsers and volunteers. But the organization was established by wealthy businessman Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda, as an outgrowth a Georgia commune where the spent time in the 1960s.
MISCONEPTION: Jimmy Carter was an unabashed liberal.
MORE ACCURATE: Carter was a moderate politician, campaigned deliberately and, once in office, pursued policies that don’t fit easily under one label.
MISCONCEPTION: Jimmy Carter is married to “RAHZ-lyn,” and he was there when she was born.
MORE ACCURATE: It’s “ROSE-lyn,” and he met her as a newborn – but not immediately.
The Associated Press20 November 2023 15:30
In photos: Rosalynn Carter through the years
Ariana Baio20 November 2023 15:00
Looking back on Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s 77th wedding anniversary
In July, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter marked their 77th wedding anniversary at their home in southern Georgia – continuing their legacy as the longest-married first couple.
The two spent a quiet night at home celebrating as both faced health troubles in the last year. The former first lady had dementia while Mr Carter has been in hospice care since February.
Though they both struggled with their health in their later years, they still enjoyed each other’s company, according to the Carter family.
“As we have looked back at their legacy, it has been really wonderful to see the outpouring of support and respect and love,” Jason Carter, the couple’s grandson, said at the time.
“That word love is really the one that defines certainly their personal relationship, but also the way they approach this world.”
Ariana Baio20 November 2023 14:30
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were ‘still holding hands’ at the end
The grandson of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter previously told news outlets that even at the end of their lives, the two were still together and holding hands.
“They are still here, they are still holding hands and still very much together,” Josh Carter told People magazine in August.
Carter and her husband were married for 77 years.
Toward the end of her life, Carter was diagnosed with dementia. But even then, she was able to recognise her husband.
Josh Carter told People Carter was aware of Mr Carter and her other family members at the time but that it was probably “hard” for Mr Carter to see his wife lose access to older memories.
“I think the beautiful thing is that they are still together,” Josh said.
Ariana Baio20 November 2023 14:00
Barack and Michelle Obama pay tribute to former first lady
Barack and Michelle Obama have paid tribute to former first lady Rosalynn Carter, following her death aged 96.
“Rosalynn Carter’s life is a reminder that no matter who we are, our legacies are best measured not in awards or accolades, but in the lives we touch. We send our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy and the entire Carter family during this difficult time,” former president Barack Obama wrote on X.
Former first lady Michelle Obama echoed his comments, writing: “You learn very quickly that there is no handbook or rules to being First Lady. Technically, it’s not even an official position. And while there are spoken and unspoken expectations that provide some structure, the role is largely shaped by the passions and aspirations of the person holding it. First Lady Rosalynn Carter understood that well. Guided by her abiding faith and her commitment to service, Mrs. Carter used her platform in profoundly meaningful ways. Her groundbreaking work to combat the stigma faced by those struggling with their mental health brought light to so many suffering in silence. She advocated for better care for the elderly. She advanced women’s rights. And she remained a champion for those causes — and many others like building affordable housing for those in need and caring for our nation’s caregivers — in the more than four decades that followed. When our family was in the White House, every so often, Rosalynn would join me for lunch, offering a few words of advice and always — always — a helping hand. She reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did. I’ll always remain grateful for her support and her generosity. Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others. Her life is a reminder that no matter who we are, our legacies are best measured not in awards or accolades, but in the lives we touch. We send our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy and the entire Carter family during this difficult time.”
Rachel Sharp20 November 2023 13:30
MLK’s grandaughter memorialises ‘dear friend’
One of the tributes posted on Twitter Sunday evening after the death of Rosalynn Carter was emblematic of her family’s legacy — it came from Bernice King, granddaughter of texted civil rights icon Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
“Her commitment to peace and tireless efforts, alongside her husband, former President #JimmyCarter, to make a positive impact on our nation and world will be remembered. Our hearts are with President Carter and the Carter family during this difficult time,” Ms King wrote in a pair of posts.
John Bowden20 November 2023 13:00
WATCH: Moment Biden pays tribute to former first lady Rosalynn Carter
Biden pays tribute to former first lady Rosalynn Carter: ‘She brought so much grace to office’
Rachel Sharp20 November 2023 12:30
Melania Trump pays tribute to Rosalynn Carter’s ‘servant heart’
Melania Trump has paid tribute to fellow former first lady Rosalynn Carter, remembering her “servant’s heart and devotion to her husband, family, and country”.
Donald Trump’s wife took to X on Sunday to release a statement following Carter’s death aged 96 at the weekend.
“Rosalynn Carter leaves behind a meaningful legacy not only as First Lady but as a wife and mother,” she wrote.
“We will always remember her servant’s heart and devotion to her husband, family, and country. May she rest in peace.”
Rachel Sharp20 November 2023 12:13
Rosalynn Carter: Advocate for Jimmy Carter and many others, always leveraging her love of politics
The Washington chattering class, often unsure what to make of outsiders, dubbed Rosalynn Carter the “Steel Magnolia” when she arrived as first lady.
A devout Baptist and mother of four, she was diminutive and outwardly shy, with a soft smile and softer Southern accent. That was the “magnolia.” She also was a force behind Jimmy Carter’s rise from peanut farmer to winner of the 1976 presidential election. That was the “steel.”
Yet that obvious, even trite moniker almost certainly undersold her role and impact across the Carters’ early life, their one White House term and their four decades afterward as global humanitarians advocating peace, democracy and the eradication of disease.
Through more than 77 years of marriage, until her death Sunday at the age of 96, Rosalynn Carter was business and political partner, best friend and closest confidant to the 39th president.
John Bowden20 November 2023 12:00