RIP Rosalynn Carter: Joe Biden and Jill Biden remember former first lady’s ‘hope, warmth and optimism’ in joint statement
Rosalynn Carter, wife of former President Jimmy Carter and a longtime mental health advocate and humanitarian, died at the age of 96 on Sunday at her home in Plains, surrounded by family, according to the Carter Center.
The Carter Center announced that Rosalynn Carter was in hospice care on Friday. Her family said earlier this year that she was diagnosed with dementia. Jimmy Carter, who is 99, has been in hospice care since February.
“Rosalynn has been my equal partner in everything I’ve ever accomplished,” the former president said in a statement. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew someone loved and supported me.”
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden remembered the former first lady’s “hope, warmth and optimism” in a joint statement issued Sunday.
They praised Carter’s support for equal rights, as well as her support of mental health and other causes. The lives of countless people, the White House statement said, are “better, fuller and brighter because of the life and legacy of Rosalyn Carter.”
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush also praised Rosalyn Carter on Sunday, calling her a “woman of dignity and strength.”
“There was no greater advocate for President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and faithfulness. She leaves behind a significant legacy in her work destigmatizing mental health.
We join our fellow citizens in sending our condolences to President Carter and his family,” the two said in a prepared statement.
Rosalyn Carter was first lady from 1977 to 1981 and was dubbed “Steel Magnolia” by the press during her years in the White House for the toughness she displayed behind the gentle persona she embraced on the outside.
Throughout Jimmy Carter’s tenure in public office, she was her husband’s closest political adviser. She also revolutionized and professionalized the role of first lady by expanding the office beyond hostess duties.
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