Former First Ladies and their husbands are responding to the Death of Rosalynn Carter, who died Sunday at the age of 96.
Carter, who suffered from dementia, had just been placed on hospice on Friday. Her husband, Jimmy Carter, 99, has been on hospice since the winter of 2023.
She died at her home in Plains, Georgia, where the couple has lived since leaving office in 1981.
A statement was released in the name of Jimmy Carter. “Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. 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 Carters had the longest marriage (77 years) of any presidential couple in history–a result of modern medicine and Carter being the oldest surviving former president. The average lifespan at the founding of the country was just 35 years. Today it is more than twice that.
Both former First Ladies and Presidents took to social media or released statements extolling Rosalynn’s life and character.
Former First Lady Melania Trump said Carter leaves behind a meaningful legacy of devotion. “We will always remember her servant’s heart and devotion to her husband, family, and country. May she rest in peace,” Melania Trump said on Twitter.
Former President Donald Trump said Carter “earned the admiration and gratitude” of the entire nation. “From her days as a U.S. Navy spouse, to the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, to her tenure as First Lady of the United States, and her later work at the Carter Center and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, she leaves behind a legacy of extraordinary accomplishment and national service,” Trump said on Truth Social.
In a combined statement with Laura Bush, Former President George W. Bush described Carter as a woman of strength and dignity. “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.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton described Carter a champion of human dignity for at-risk communities. “Thanks to her mental health advocacy, more people live with better care and less stigma. Because of her early leadership on childhood immunization, millions of Americans have grown up healthier. And through her decades of work at the Carter Center and with Habitat for Humanity, she spread hope, health, and democracy across the globe,” the former president and former secretary of state said in a joint statement. “Rosalynn will be forever remembered as the embodiment of a life lived with purpose.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama stated, “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others. Her life is a reminder that no matter who we are, our legacies are best measured not in awards or accolades, but in the lives we touch.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice
Note: All photos from the public domain, WikiCommons Media.