Saying Goodbye to a Trailblazer: Rosalynn Carter’s death at 96
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter, a trusted advisor to President Jimmy Carter during his term and their four decades as global humanitarians, has passed away at the age of 96. The Carter Center announced her death, revealing that she had been battling dementia and experiencing declining health for several months. Rosalynn Carter, who died peacefully at her rural Georgia home, leaves behind a legacy of activism, influence, and partnership.
A Life Well-Lived: President Jimmy Carter’s Tribute
President Jimmy Carter, in a heartfelt statement, hailed Rosalynn as his “equal partner in everything.” He acknowledged her pivotal role in his achievements, providing wise guidance and unwavering support. The former president emphasized the profound impact of Rosalynn’s presence, stating, “As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”
Tributes from President Biden and World Leaders
President Joe Biden lauded the Carters as “an incredible family” for bringing grace to the office. Expressing condolences, Biden highlighted the Carters’ dedication to equal rights, opportunities for women and girls, mental health advocacy, and support for caregivers. World leaders joined in offering tributes throughout the day, recognizing Rosalynn Carter’s significant contributions to society.
The Carter Partnership: More Than 77 Years of Full Partnership
Married for over 77 years, the Carters forged a remarkable partnership that extended beyond the conventional roles of a first lady and president. Rosalynn, unlike many of her predecessors, actively participated in Cabinet meetings, addressed controversial issues, and represented her husband on foreign trips. Privately referred to as “co-president” by some presidential aides, Rosalynn’s influence and political astuteness were undeniable.
Rosalynn’s Advocacy: Mental Health, Equal Rights, and Humanitarian Work
Rosalynn Carter’s legacy extends beyond the White House. Throughout her husband’s political career, she championed mental health and issues affecting the elderly. Her signature policy emphasis focused on improving mental health coverage and addressing the often-overlooked needs of caregivers. In her later years, the Carters co-founded The Carter Center in Atlanta, engaging in humanitarian missions and promoting public health and democracy worldwide.
The Steel Magnolia: Rosalynn’s Political Instincts
Despite her outwardly shy demeanor and soft Southern accent, Rosalynn Carter earned the nickname “the Steel Magnolia” from Washington reporters. Fiercely loyal, compassionate, and politically astute, she navigated political landscapes with an iron will. Aides often sought her support for projects before approaching the president, emphasizing her role as a force to be reckoned with.
A Lasting Impact: Ceremonies to Celebrate Rosalynn Carter’s Life
Ceremonies honoring Rosalynn Carter’s life will take place after Thanksgiving in Atlanta and Sumter County, Georgia. The public is invited to pay their respects at the repose on November 27 at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. The private funeral and interment on November 29 will be broadcasted on TV and streamed online, allowing people worldwide to commemorate the life of a remarkable woman.
In conclusion, Rosalynn Carter’s passing marks the end of an era, leaving behind a legacy of activism, influence, and a trailblazing partnership with President Jimmy Carter. Her impact on mental health advocacy, equal rights, and global humanitarian efforts will be remembered for generations to come.