Rosalynn Carter: A Lifetime of Love and Support

Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States and governor of Georgia, always considered the highlight of his life to be marrying Eleanor Rosalynn Smith. Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter held the record for the longest marriage among White House residents, spanning over 77 years.

The Carter Center announced the peaceful passing of the former first lady at the age of 96 in her Georgia home on a Sunday, just days after entering hospice care.

In a statement, Jimmy Carter expressed that Rosalynn was his equal partner in all his achievements, providing wise guidance and encouragement. Her support remained steadfast throughout his presidency, including during the Iranian hostage crisis and the challenging reelection loss to Ronald Reagan.

In the later years of their enduring love story, 99-year-old Jimmy Carter leaned on his wife once more after deciding to receive hospice care at home in February 2023.

As the couple prepared for the end, they were surrounded by support from their four children, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. Their grandson, Jason Carter, shared that their home was filled with love, and they were at peace.

The courtship and early life of the Carters, born three years apart in Plains, Georgia, were highlighted in the years between World War I and the Great Depression.

Jimmy Carter, a former Navy submarine commanding officer, courted Rosalynn while a cadet at the United States Naval Academy. Their love story, documented in the book “What Makes a Marriage Last,” reflects Rosalynn’s initial rejection and subsequent marriage on July 7, 1946.

The couple’s life in politics saw Jimmy Carter’s election to the Georgia State Senate in 1963 and later as governor of Georgia in 1970. Rosalynn Carter actively focused on mental health issues during their time in the governor’s mansion, and she played a crucial advisory role during Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign and presidency.

After leaving the White House in 1981, the Carters engaged in humanitarian work with Habitat for Humanity, building homes for those in need. They also shared a love for bird-watching and fly-fishing, maintaining their bond through mutual interests.

In a 2021 interview, the Carters attributed the longevity of their marriage to working on shared projects and hobbies, as well as ensuring reconciliation after arguments, emphasizing the depth of their love for each other.


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