Rosalynn Carter Passes Away At 96

( – Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, passed away on Sunday at her home in Plains, Georgia at the age of 96, CBS News reported.

According to the Carter Center, the former first lady passed peacefully surrounded by her family.

The Carter family announced last spring that Mrs. Carter was suffering from dementia and would continue to live at home with her husband. Last week, the family revealed that Mrs. Carter had entered home hospice care.

Born in Plains, Georgia in 1927, Rosalynn Smith began dating Jimmy Carter in 1945 when she was 18. A year later, the couple was married. With her husband in the Navy, Rosalynn bore the couple’s three sons in different places as she followed her husband from posting to posting.

The family returned to Plains in 1953 to take over the family’s peanut business after the death of Jimmy Carter’s father.

When Carter ran for governor of Georgia in 1970, Rosalynn traveled the state campaigning both with her husband and on her own. Six years later, she helped her husband run and win the White House.

After Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980, the Carters returned to Georgia where they established the Carter Center, the Atlanta-based organization that promotes conflict resolution and peace. The Carter Center’s projects included working with Habitat for Humanity to build new homes for the poor and traveling the world pursuing peace.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton awarded Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter the Medal of Freedom.

In July, the Carters celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary, making theirs the longest presidential marriage in US history.

In a statement on Sunday, former President Carter described his wife as his “equal partner” in everything he accomplished. Carter said as long as his wife “was in the world,” he knew there was someone who loved and supported him.

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