ATLANTA — Reactions are pouring in from around Georgia and across the country after the death of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
The Carter Center announced Sunday that Rosalynn, 96, passed away at 2:10 p.m. at her home in Plains, Georgia. She died peacefully, with family by her side.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said Rosalynn Carter will “always be in their hearts” and that she “inspired a nation and world” throughout the journey of life.
“First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way.
“Throughout her incredible life as First Lady of Georgia and the First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn did so much to address many of society’s greatest needs. She was a champion for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls; an advocate for mental health and wellness for every person; and a supporter of the often unseen and uncompensated caregivers of our children, aging loved ones, and people with disabilities.
“Above all, the deep love shared between Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter is the definition of partnership, and their humble leadership is the definition of patriotism. She lived her life by her faith.
“Time and time again, during the more than four decades of our friendship – through rigors of campaigns, through the darkness of deep and profound loss – we always felt the hope, warmth, and optimism of Rosalynn Carter. She will always be in our hearts.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, we send our love to President Carter, the entire Carter family, and the countless people across our nation and the world whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of the life and legacy of Rosalynn Carter.
“May God bless our dear friend.
“May God bless a great American.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama also released a joint statement on the death of the Mrs. Carter:
“You learn very quickly that there is no handbook or rules to being First Lady. Technically, it’s not even an official position. And while there are spoken and unspoken expectations that provide some structure, the role is largely shaped by the passions and aspirations of the person holding it.
“First Lady Rosalynn Carter understood that well.
“Guided by her abiding faith and her commitment to service, Mrs. Carter used her platform in profoundly meaningful ways. Her groundbreaking work to combat the stigma faced by those struggling with their mental health brought light to so many suffering in silence. She advocated for better care for the elderly. She advanced women’s rights. And she remained a champion for those causes — and many others like building affordable housing for those in need and caring for our nation’s caregivers — in the more than four decades that followed.
“When our family was in the White House, every so often, Rosalynn would join me for lunch, offering a few words of advice and always — always — a helping hand. She reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did. I’ll always remain grateful for her support and her generosity.
“Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others. Her life is a reminder that no matter who we are, our legacies are best measured not in awards or accolades, but in the lives we touch. We send our thoughts and prayers to Jimmy and the entire Carter family during this difficult time.”
President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton also released a joint statement regarding Mrs. Carter’s passing:
Former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to express condolences in the passing of Mrs. Carter:
“Melania and I join all Americans in mourning the loss of Rosalynn Carter. She was a devoted First Lady, a great humanitarian, a champion for mental health, and a beloved wife to her husband for 77 years, President Carter.
“Over a life spanning nearly a century, Rosalynn Carter earned the admiration and gratitude of our entire nation. From her days as a U.S. Navy spouse, to the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, to her tenure as First Lady of the United States, and her later work at the Carter Center and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, she leaves behind a legacy of extraordinary accomplishment and national service.
“Our prayers are with the former president, the Carter family, and the entire community of Plains, Georgia, that she loved so much!”
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens described the former First Lady as an “activist, author and humanitarian.”
“More than 96 years ago, a First Lady was born years ahead of her time who urged us to take our mental health seriously. She was Rosalynn Carter, and sadly she has passed away. Mrs. Carter worked side by side with her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, to make life better for people around the world. She never stopped advocating for mental health or the Equal Rights Amendment. She was an activist, author and humanitarian, travelled internationally as her husband’s envoy and was the model for the modern day First Lady. The city of Atlanta joins all of Georgia—and mourners around the world—as we honor the memory of First Lady Rosalynn Carter.”
Georgia Democrats released the following statement on the death of the former First Lady:
- Rosalynn Carter, 39th first lady of the United States, has died at age 96
- PHOTOS: First Lady Rosalynn Carter through the years
- Rosalynn Carter marked her 96th birthday at home with the former president, butterflies and ice cream
Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia’s Fourth District called Rosalynn Carter’s contributions to Georgia and society as unparalleled.
Gov. Brian Kemp credited Rosalynn’s ‘indelible impact’ on Georgia and the nation as a whole.
Bernice King, daughter of Civil Rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King offered “love and prayers” to the Carter family during this loss.
Georgia Tech called Rosalynn Carter a ‘friend’ of the university and acknowledged her contributions.
Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Mrs. Carter represented “the best” of Georgians and expressed gratitude for the example Rosalynn set.
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said Rosalynn’s “profound faith, compassion and kindness” allowed for “transformational” change to families across the country.
“Friend, champion and profound impact” is how Sen. Raphael Warnock chooses to remember the former First Lady and impact she had on others.
The United States Secret Service also credited Rosalynn for her impact she had on others.
Congresswoman Lucy McBath credited Rosalynn’s “heroic leadership” and said she will never be forgotten.
The Atlanta Hawks have expressed condolences for The Carter family.
The Atlanta Braves released the following statement:
The Atlanta Falcons and owner Arthur Blank said Rosalynn’s life was one of “selfless dedication of service to those around her.”
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” 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.”
She is survived by her children — Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy — and 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A grandson died in 2015.
The schedule of memorial events and funeral ceremonies will be distributed as soon as possible to media and posted on here, according to the family. This tribute website includes the family’s official online condolence book and opportunities for memorial gifts, as well as an official biography and downloadable photos.
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