Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady, Wife of Jimmy Carter and Mental Health Advocate, Dead at 96

The former first lady, who is married to President Jimmy Carter, died two days after her family shared she entered hospice.

Rosalynn Carter, a former First Lady of the United States, has died. She was 96.

The news was shared on Sunday, via the official website for the Carter Center

"Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a passionate champion of mental health, caregiving, and women’s rights, passed away Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2:10 p.m. at her home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96. She died peacefully, with family by her side," the statement began. "Mrs. Carter was married for 77 years to Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States and the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who is now 99 years old."

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Included in the statement, was a message from former President Jimmy Carter, who mourned and celebrated his wife.

"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished," he said. "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."

Mrs. Carter was also remembered by her son, Chip. 

"Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right," he said. "Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today."

The news of the former first lady's death comes two days after it was announced that she entered hospice care

In May, The Carter Center shared that Rosalynn had dementia, although it's unclear when the diagnosis was given. President Carter, who is 99, has also been in hospice care at the family home since February. 

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Rosalynn (born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith) was born in Plains, Georgia in 1927. Her and Jimmy's love story began in 1945, following her freshman year at  Georgia Southwestern. Jimmy told his mother after his first date with then-Rosalynn Smith that she was the girl he wanted to marry. They married on July 7, 1946. 

They were the longest-married presidential couple in history. 

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Together, the pair entered the White House in 1977 and served until 1981. During her husband's presidency and prior political career, Rosalynn was one of his biggest aides, attending cabinet meetings and working to champion mental health, the unemployment crisis and more public policies put in place by her husband.

Following her time as the first lady, Rosalynn continued her humanitarian work alongside her husband, becoming involved in Habitat for Humanity, human rights, elderly needs and social justice. The continued efforts to give back inspired them to open The Carter Center. 

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On top of all of her tremendous work, Rosalynn spent time with her family, which included her longtime love, their children, great-grandchildren and more. In recent years, both Mr. and Mrs. Carter disappeared from the spotlight. Though when they did appear, they were always together. 

Rosalynn is survived by her children Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Rosalynn and Jimmy had a grandson who died in 2015.

According to The Carter Center, Rosalynn's memorial and funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as they are available. The family has created an online condolence book and opportunities for memorial gifts at