President Biden and Jill Biden visited Plains, Georgia in April 2021 to meet with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. After their visit, it was Rosalynn who led the way in escorting the first couple out of the Carter’s home. She was always equal to her husband in their 77-year marriage, taking charge of both big and small matters.
Rosalynn’s recent passing, announced by the Carter Center on Sunday, marks the end of a partnership that Carter once described as “the pinnacle of my life.”
Former President Carter spoke of his late wife as his equal and constant support. He acknowledged her guidance and encouragement, emphasizing that he always felt loved and supported as long as Rosalynn was by his side. Rosalynn Carter passed away at the age of 96, just two days after entering hospice care in the midst of her dementia diagnosis. Former President Carter himself began receiving home hospice care earlier this year.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were married for over 77 years, surpassing the lifespan of the average American. They tied the knot in their small town of Plains, Georgia at a young age. Rosalynn, a dedicated supporter, played a crucial role in Carter’s presidential campaign, campaigning for him door-to-door while also giving interviews across the country.
Rosalynn’s primary role as first lady was to bring people’s concerns to her husband. The couple maintained a strong and intimate bond, having weekly lunches together to discuss the state of the nation. Carter’s close relationship with his wife could sometimes unnerve those around them, especially when they would switch to speaking Spanish during touchy subjects.
Rosalynn was always a tireless advocate for her husband, even expressing bitterness over his loss in the 1980 presidential election and still believing the American people made a mistake in not reelecting him. Upon leaving the White House, the Carters returned to their hometown of Plains and focused on a modest but impactful post-presidential life.
They established the Carter Center, headquartered in Atlanta, which works towards peace, disease fighting, and hope. Additionally, they were actively involved in promoting democracy and political stability around the world, as well as advancing public health initiatives.
Amidst their accomplishments, the Carters were open about the challenges they faced. Their collaboration on a self-help book led to intense disagreements and periods where they barely spoke to each other. However, their partnership survived these trials and remained strong.
Rosalynn Carter leaves behind a lasting legacy, sharing in her husband’s contributions to peace, democracy, and public health. Together, they were a powerful team, and the Carter Center stands as a testament to their shared commitment. Through it all, Rosalynn was a dedicated partner, standing by Jimmy Carter’s side every step of the way.