FORMER President Jimmy Carter has posted a heartbreaking tribute to his wife Rosalynn after her death at 96.
News of the former First Lady’s death was confirmed on Sunday afternoon.
A statement from The Carter Center was released and detailed that Rosalynn had died at around 2:10 pm on November 19, surrounded by the family at their home in Plains, Georgia.
President Carter was the first to speak about his wife in the announcement.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” the oldest living former President of the United States 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.”
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The two started dating in 1945 while Jimmy Carter was attending the United States Naval Academy,
Rosalynn became attracted to Jimmy after seeing a picture in his uniform.
They shared their first kiss while riding in the backseat of a car belonging to the boyfriend of Jimmy’s sister, Ruth Carter Stapelton, with whom Rosalynn was good friends.
Within a year, they married at Plains Methodist Church, Rosalynn’s childhood congregation.
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Rosalynn originally had plans to study interior design at George State College for Women but she soon fell into the duties of marriage and motherhood, raising the couple’s four children: Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy.
She managed the household while Jimmy served in the Navy’s nuclear submarine program until 1953 when he returned home to help run his family’s peanut farm and warehouse business.
Jimmy’s political career began in the early 1960s when he campaigned for an open seat in the Georgia Senate – Rosalynn, who had a knack for campaigning and organization, was instrumental to his success.
She helped him campaign in his run for Georgia governor, which he won in 1971 and did the same for his run against Gerald Ford for the presidency.
After Jimmy lost the 1980 election, the Carters co-founded The Carter Center in 1982 with a focus on human rights, public health, conflict resolution, mental health, and the eradication of infectious diseases.
The Carter Center has received several accolades including the inaugural Delta Prize for Global Understanding in 1999, given by the University of Georgia.
Jimmy Carter also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work through the organization.