PLAINS, Georgia – The Carter Center announced that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, has died at the age of 96.
According to the Carter Center, she died at 2:10 p.m. at her home in Plains, Georgia. The center said she died peacefully, with family by her side.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” President Carter 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.”
Rosalynn Carter was married to Jimmy Carter for 77 years. She is survived by her children — Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy — and 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A grandson died in 2015.
“Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right,” said 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.”
Former President George W. Bush and his wife former First Lady Laura Bush released a statement on Rosalynn Carters passing:
“We are saddened by the passing of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. She was a woman of dignity and strength. There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity. She leaves behind an important legacy in her work to destigmatize mental health. We join our fellow citizens in sending our condolences to President Carter and their family.”
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also released the following statement following Rosalynn Carters passing:
“First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way.
Throughout her incredible life as First Lady of Georgia and the First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn did so much to address many of society’s greatest needs. She was a champion for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls; an advocate for mental health and wellness for every person; and a supporter of the often unseen and uncompensated caregivers of our children, aging loved ones, and people with disabilities.
Above all, the deep love shared between Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter is the definition of partnership, and their humble leadership is the definition of patriotism. She lived her life by her faith.
Time and time again, during the more than four decades of our friendship – through rigors of campaigns, through the darkness of deep and profound loss – we always felt the hope, warmth, and optimism of Rosalynn Carter. She will always be in our hearts.
On behalf of a grateful nation, we send our love to President Carter, the entire Carter family, and the countless people across our nation and the world whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of the life and legacy of Rosalynn Carter.
May God bless our dear friend.
May God bless a great American.”
Habitat for Humanity also released a statement:
“Habitat for Humanity is deeply saddened by the passing of former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter, who was a champion and strong voice for affordable, decent housing for all. For more than three decades, she and President Jimmy Carter donated their time and leadership to Habitat each year to build and improve homes around the world. She died peacefully on Sunday at her home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96, with family by her side.
“We grieve the loss of Mrs. Carter and our prayers are with President Carter and their family. Mrs. Carter has helped change the lives of thousands of homeowners, empowered countless women and inspired millions of people. Over the years, she has blessed us with her compassion for serving others and commitment to improving housing conditions,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International. “The Carters lent a hand to Habitat for Humanity as a young, fledging organization and created global awareness of our work and of our mission. We are grateful for the incredible impact she and President Carter have had on Habitat and on the families who have benefited from their shining example.”
After leaving the White House, the Carters planned for meaningful ways to continue their commitment to social justice and basic human rights. Their first volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity was in March 1984 near their home in Americus, Georgia, where Habitat for Humanity was founded. Later that same year, the Carters joined Habitat volunteers in New York City’s Lower East Side to renovate an abandoned building in partnership with families in need of affordable housing. That marked Habitat for Humanity’s first Jimmy Carter Work Project, which was later renamed to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Since then, President and Mrs. Carter have worked with more than 104,000 volunteers across the U.S. and in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair 4,390 Habitat homes. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has served more than 46 million people around the world.
In 2016, Habitat named President and Mrs. Carter as the inaugural Habitat Humanitarians for their extraordinary dedication to service in alignment with Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat for Humanity will be celebrating Mrs. Carter’s life of service with local observances.”