Rosalynn Carter, wife of the 39th President of the US, dead at 96

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has died at 96, the Carter Center said Sunday, according to The Associated Press and WSB-TV.

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The Carter Center said she passed away with her family at her side peacefully at 2:10 p.m. EST at her house in Plains, Georgia.

Rosalynn Carter’s family announced last week that she entered hospice care at her house, according to WSB. The move came about six months after the Carter Center announced she was diagnosed with dementia.

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” her husband of 77 years, former President Jimmy Carter, 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 somebody loved and supported me.”

Rosalynn Carter was the oldest of four children. She was born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in 1925, according to WSB-TV.

Rosalynn Carter served as first lady from 1977 to 1981.

She is survived by her children -- Jack, Chip, Jeff and Amy, the Carter Center said. She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

“Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right,” Chip Carter said in a statement. “Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today.”

Jimmy Carter is the oldest living president in U.S. history. He and Rosalynn Carter, who wed in 1946, are the longest-ever married presidential couple, WSB reported.

Rosalynn Carter is the second longest-lived first lady, according to the Times. The oldest was Bess Truman who died at the age of 97 in 1982. She was the widow of President Harry S. Truman.

Information about memorial events and funeral ceremonies will be released on a website through the Carter Center.

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