Former first lady Rosalynn Carter died on Nov. 19 at 96 years old, per the Carter Center.
Rosalynn Carter passed away peacefully with family by her side at her home in Plains, Georgia, the center said in a statement.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, said. “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.”
The Carter Center announced Friday that the former first lady had entered hospice care. She was diagnosed with dementia in May. Her husband began home hospice care in February, following a series of hospital stays.
Jimmy Carter was defeated in a landslide by Ronald Reagan four years after being elected. His single term in the White House included forging a rare peace agreement between Israel and Egypt that continues to this day, but it was also marked by soaring inflation and the Iran hostage crisis. Through it all, Rosalynn was by his side, and often whispering in his ear.
The Carters redefined and revolutionized the post-presidency and, through their joint efforts, they worked on world peace and human rights on behalf of The Carter Center, a nongovernmental Atlanta-based organization founded to “wage peace, fight disease and build hope.”
After leaving the White House, the couple traveled to hot spots around the world, including visits to Cuba, Sudan and North Korea, monitoring elections and working to eradicate Guinea worm disease and other neglected tropical diseases.?Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
“The Carter Center is a shared legacy. She’s been there digging latrines right next to him,” said the Carters’ friend Jill Stuckey, a leader at Maranatha Baptist Church, where both Carters attended and where Jimmy Carter taught Sunday school.
Rosalynn Carter’s most lasting individual legacy will be her efforts to diminish the stigma attached to people with mental illnesses and her fight for parity and access for mental health treatment. She also devoted her time to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving at her alma mater, Georgia Southwestern State University, to help families and professional caregivers living with disabilities and illnesses.