According to the Carter Center, Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter and a longtime mental health advocate and humanitarian, died on Sunday at her home in Plains, Ga., surrounded by family. She was 96 years old.
Rosalynn Carter was placed in hospice care on Friday, according to the Carter Center. Her family announced earlier this year that she had dementia. Jimmy Carter, 99, has been receiving hospice care since February.
"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished," he stated in a statement. "She provided me with sound advice and encouragement when I needed it."
As long as Rosalynn was alive, I knew someone loved and supported me." President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden honored the former first lady's "hope, warmth, and optimism" in a joint statement posted on Sunday.
They lauded Carter's advocacy for equal rights, as well as her work on mental health concerns and other challenges. According to the White House statement,
Rosalynn Carter's life and legacy have made the lives of countless individuals "better, fuller, and brighter." Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush both welcomed the initiative.
"There was no greater supporter of President Carter, and their partnership exemplified loyalty and fidelity." She leaves a significant legacy in her efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness.
"We join our countrymen in expressing our condolences to President Carter and his family," the two said in a prepared statement. Rosalynn Carter served as first lady from 1977 to 1981 and was called the "Steel Magnolia"