Former US first lady Rosalynn Carter dies aged 96

Former US first lady Rosalynn Carter dies aged 96  

The devoted mental health campaigner and human rights advocate died after a long battle with dementia and a recent decline in health, only days after entering hospice care alongside her husband.

They had been married for 77 years.

Mrs Carter worked on programs for mental health, human rights, social justice and more.

In 2003, she said at a mental health symposium: ‘Twenty-five years ago, we did not dream that people might someday be able actually to recover from mental illnesses.

‘For one who has worked on mental health issues as long as I have, this is a miraculous development and an answer to my prayers.’

Carter married her husband Jimmy in 1946, and the pair shared four children: Amy, James, Donnel, and Jack.

Her iron will, contrasted with her outwardly shy demeanor and a soft Southern accent, inspired Washington reporters to call her ‘the Steel Magnolia.’

The statement announcing her death said she ‘died peacefully, with family by her side’ at 2.10pm at her home in the rural south Georgia community of Plains.

Jimmy said of his wife: ‘Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. 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.’

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