Wednesday June 19, 2024

RIP Rosalynn Carter: Inside iconic life of former first lady and Jimmy Carter's political partner

Rosalynn Carter was committed to promoting mental health awareness

By Web Desk
November 20, 2023
Rosalynn Carters picture collage throughout time. — X/@nypost
Rosalynn Carter's picture collage throughout time. — X/@nypost

Rosalynn Carter, Jimmy Carter's former wife and former passed away at the age of ninety-six after it was revealed on Friday that she had moved into a Georgia hospice care facility and was spending time with her 99-year-old spouse, who has been receiving hospice care since February.

In a statement, the Carter Centre attested to the fact that she passed away quietly, surrounded by loved ones, reported BBC.

In May, Carter received a dementia diagnosis.

In July, the first couple to be married for the longest celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary.

"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished," said Jimmy Carter in the statement.

"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."

On August 18, 1927, Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter was born.

On July 7, 1946, she married Jimmy Carter and the two have four kids.

According to Chip, the Carters's son, she was a devoted mother, an amazing first lady, and "a great humanitarian in her own right."

"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."

After losing a grandson in 2015, she is also survived by 11 grandkids and 14 great-grandchildren.

Carter was committed to promoting mental health awareness and lessening the stigma associated with those who suffer from mental health problems when her husband started his political career in the 1960s, first as a Georgia state senator, then as governor, and eventually as US president.

As the first lady of the United States, she assumed the honorary chairship of the President's panel on Mental Health, which played a crucial role in the enactment of a 1980 law that assisted in funding regional mental health facilities. 

She also served as a member of a governor's panel in Georgia that aimed to enhance care for the mentally ill.

She and her husband established the Carter Centre in 1982 when she left Washington, where she carried on her advocacy for early childhood vaccination, mental health, and other humanitarian concerns.

"And our motto is waging peace, fighting disease and building hope. And I hope that I have contributed something to mental health issues and help improve a little bit the lives of people living with mental illnesses."

In his homage to Carter, US President Joe Biden stated that she "walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way".

President Biden wrote on X, previously Twitter, "On behalf of a grateful nation, we send our love to the entire Carter family and the countless people whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of Rosalynn Carter."

"When our family was in the White House, every now and then Rosalynn would join me for lunch, offering a few words of advice and always - always - a helping hand," stated former First Lady Michelle Obama.

"She reminded me that, like her, I should take ownership of the First Lady's job. I will always be appreciative of her kindness and support."

Carter was described as "a woman of dignity and strength" by former First Lady Laura Bush and former President George W Bush.

They issued the following statement, "They set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity, and there was no greater advocate of President Carter than them."

"She leaves behind an important legacy in her work to destigmatise mental health."