Former President Jimmy Carter has shared a moving tribute to his late wife, Rosalynn, who passed away Sunday afternoon at the age of 96.
The Carter Center released a statement detailing that the former first lady had died around 2:10 PM. on November 19. Rosalynn was surrounded by loved ones at the Carter family home in Plains, Georgia.
The former president had these words to say about his better half:
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” the oldest living former President of the United States 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.”
The post stated that she is survived by her four children, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren. The two had been married for 77 years.
“Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right,” said son Chip Carter. “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 two first met in 1945 while Jimmy Carter was attending the U.S. Naval Academy. Rosalynn was smitten at the sight of the young naval cadet in his uniform.
Rosalynn was instrumental in Jimmy’s political career. Rosalynn, who had a knack for campaigning and political organizing, spearheaded her husband’s efforts in running for Georgia governor which he won in 1971. She would follow her husband all the way to the White House after defeating Gerald Ford for the presidency.
After Carter lost the 1980 election, the couple dedicated their lives to humanitarian efforts. In 1982, the Carter Center was formed with a focus on waging peace, fighting disease, and improving the public health. Rosalynn’s legacy lives on in the good works of her husband and their cherished foundation.