My equal partner
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter died on Sunday, November 19, at her home in Plains, Georgia, aged 96. Among many who have paid tribute to her is her husband Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States and the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Jimmy and Rosalynn were married to each other for 77 years.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” Jimmy said after his wife's death, according to The Carter Center. “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 and Jimmy knew each other from a very early age and were childhood sweethearts. In fact, Jimmy's mother delivered baby Rosalynn at the time she was born.
Several years later, Rosalynn and Jimmy were set up on a blind date. Back home from the date, young Jimmy told his mother, “That's the girl I want to marry." The pair tied the knot in 1946.
Jimmy and Rosalynn share four children together, each of them being born in different places – John William (Jack) in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1947; James Earl III (Chip) in Honolulu in 1950; Donnel Jeffery (Jeff) in New London, Connecticut, in 1952; and Amy in Plains in 1967.
Chip, too, paid tribute to his mother after her death, saying, “Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right. 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.”
The Carters had 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Rosalynn was the second longest-lived of the country's First Ladies. Bess Truman, who died at 97, lived the longest.