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Passing of First Lady Rosalynn Carter

Written by Hannah Guanti

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, passed away at age ninety-six on November 19, at her residence in Georgia. The wife of thirty-ninth president, Jimmy Carter, the former first lady was surrounded by her family at the time of her passing. 

Throughout her life, Rosalynn Carter had been a vocal supporter of her husband’s career. She became involved in campaigning and policymaking early on. As first lady, she focused her efforts on championing initiatives for mental health, community outreach, women’s rights, and the elderly.  She also served as an envoy abroad during this time, specifically the President’s personal emissary to Latin America. 

Continuing her commitment after her husband’s tenure, Rosalynn Carter became Vice Chair of The Carter Center, where she sponsored peace, and human rights. She also maintained her commitment to championing mental health awareness.  

Raised in a small Georgia town as Rosalynn Smith, she prioritized family over all else. She had grown up as a family friend with the future president, before beginning their romance as college students. 

They were wed in 1946 and the two would have four children- all born in different states since Jimmy Carter’s naval service kept the family on the move. The two would be married for seventy-seven years, celebrating this anniversary in July. They were the longest standing Presidential marriage in U.S. history. 

This commitment to family can be seen even after her passing. Her services were attended by her children, eleven grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren. 

The former president Carter appeared at the private funeral and services. This has been one of his only public outings since he entered hospice care. 

The tributes to the life of Rosalynn Carter include a three-day memorial service across her home state of Georgia.