Having been the longest-married presidential couple in United States history, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter have been together for 77 years. From their humble beginnings at their Georgia farm to his election as President of the United States in 1976, their story has officially come full circle now as Rosalynn joins her husband at home for end-of-life care after recently being diagnosed with dementia.
The 96-year old former first lady is being honored around the world for her service to Georgia and America throughout her life and career.
Jimmy Carter himself said “the best thing I ever had happen in my life was when she said she’d marry me”, a sentiment that speaks to the strength of their relationship over seven decades together. Rosalynn Carter has always been a partner in his public service and political campaigns; it was she who urged him to think more about the 1980 election while he was preoccupied with freeing American hostages from Iran during his presidency.
She also ran solo during his 1966 bid for governor – testimony to what White House adviser Stuart Eizenstat called her “uncanny political instinct” – and later worked in her own office in the East Wing with her own staff on initiatives important to women’s rights and mental health issues alike.
— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) November 17, 2023
Throughout much of her life, Rosalynn has advocated tirelessly for improved mental health care access across America and beyond – testifying before Congress on Capitol Hill urging them to put treatment insurance parity on par with other conditions within our healthcare system, travelling throughout developing nations helping them confront lack of resources dedicated to this cause, establishing fellowships for journalists covering mental health issue more impactfully…all culminating into an effort that helped reduce stigma attached those suffering from mental illness worldwide.
It is clear that Rosalynn will leave behind a tremendous legacy as one of world’s leading advocates for people struggling with mental health conditions everywhere.