Rosalynn Carter, the esteemed former First Lady of the United States and wife of the 39th President, Jimmy Carter, passed away at the age of 96. Her death on Sunday, November 19, marks the end of an era defined by her enduring commitment to public service and advocacy for mental health.
Mrs. Carter's peaceful passing occurred at her home in Plains, Georgia, surrounded by her family, as confirmed by the Carter Center. Her departure followed a brief period in hospice care, beginning on November 17. Her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, now 99 and also under hospice care since February, honored her as his lifelong partner, stating, "Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished."
Survived by their four children, Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, along with 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, Rosalynn Carter's legacy extends far beyond her immediate family. Her son Chip reflected on her life, saying, "Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans."
The Carter family, while mourning their loss, has requested privacy and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support and love they have received.
Rosalynn Carter's impact was not limited to her role as First Lady. She was a tireless advocate for mental health, women's rights, and human rights. Her efforts have significantly improved mental health care and caregiving resources in the United States. Recognizing the stigma surrounding dementia and mental health, she played a pivotal role in advancing conversations and support around these crucial issues.
Her passing has elicited a flood of tributes from political leaders and organizations nationwide. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp lauded her as a proud Georgian who profoundly impacted the state and nation. U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff highlighted her compassionate nature and dedication to public service. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden remembered her for her commitment to mental health care and the critical role of caregivers.
Former First Lady Melania Trump also paid homage to Mrs. Carter, acknowledging her legacy beyond her public persona. She wrote, "We will always remember her servant's heart and devotion to her husband, family, and country."
Prominent figures like New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Representative Hakeem Jeffries shared their condolences, acknowledging the profound loss for the nation. Even the Atlanta Braves expressed their deep sorrow, recognizing her as a humanitarian who touched many lives.
As arrangements for her memorial and funeral ceremonies are being finalized, the nation pauses to reflect on the remarkable life of Rosalynn Carter. Her dedication to humanitarian causes, her passion for mental health reform, and her role as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother leave a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations. In these moments of collective mourning, Rosalynn Carter's life serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder to strive for a more compassionate and understanding world.