A Passionate Champion Of Mental Health Rosalynn Carter Passes Away At 96

A lifelong advocate for mental health and human rights, Rosalynn Carter, died on 19th November 2023 Sunday. She was 96. She had been suffering from dementia. Her family said that she had accepted home hospice care, joining her 99-year-old husband in the Plains one-story property for end-of-life care.

She was the wife of US’ 39 president, Jimmy Carter. She was the first lady during Jimmy’s tenure from 1977 to 1981. Rosalynn is survived by their four children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Rosalynn Carter: Early Life

Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter

She was born on 18th August 1927 in Plains, Georgia, USA. Her full name was Eleanor Rosalynn Smith. She grew up in a close-knit home, where she learned compassion and social duty.

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Rosalynn Carter Education

Rosalynn’s schooling was disrupted when her father died when she was 13, and she was forced to take on more tasks at home. Despite these obstacles, she succeeded academically and finished as Plains High School’s salutatorian. Then she went to Georgia Southwestern College, where she met Jimmy Carter, a young navy officer from a nearby town.

Rosalynn Carter Husband

Rosalynn Carter With Her Husband Jimmy Carter
Rosalynn Carter With Her Husband Jimmy Carter

Rosalynn married Jimmy in 1946, and she quickly became a major participant in her husband’s political pursuits. She supported his campaigns for state senator and governor of Georgia, and when he was elected president in 1976, she became one of America’s most prominent and important first ladies.

Rosalynn Carter: As First Lady

Rosalynn Carter With Her Husband Jimmy Carter
Rosalynn Carter With Her Husband Jimmy Carter

Rosalynn Carter defied convention as First Lady by having her own office in the West Wing of the White House and actively engaged in her husband’s administration. She was an outspoken campaigner for a variety of topics, including mental health, human rights, and environmental conservation. She was also instrumental in bringing peace between Egypt and Israel through the Camp David Accords.

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Rosalynn Carter And Carter Centre

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter worked relentlessly for peace and justice across the world after leaving government. In 1982, they established the Carter Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to conflict resolution, democracy, and human rights. Rosalynn has served as the center’s vice chair and has been heavily involved in its efforts to enhance people’s lives in over 80 nations.

Rosalynn Carter: An Author

She was not only a well-known humanitarian and campaigner, but also a prolific author who wrote numerous thought-provoking novels. Her writings provide insight into her personal experiences, deeply held views, and steadfast dedication to solving vital societal challenges.

Carter’s first book, “First Lady from Plains,” released in 1984, is an engrossing biography that follows her from her youth in rural Georgia to her tenure as First Lady. She recounts her experiences, problems, and victories frankly, offering vital insights into the life of a woman at the core of American politics.

Rosalynn Carter Writing Something
Rosalynn Carter Writing Something

Carter and her husband, former President Jimmy Carter, co-wrote “Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life” in 1987. This book delves into the problems and possibilities that come with aging, providing practical guidance and encouragement for navigating this stage of life with grace and purpose.

Carter’s works “Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers” (1994) and “Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers” (1998) demonstrate her dedication to mental health advocacy. These publications offer invaluable insight and assistance to individuals who care for loved ones suffering from mental disorders.

Carter collaborates with Susan K. Golant and Kathryn E. Cade in her 2010 book, “Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis,” to push for better mental health treatment in the United States. The book emphasizes the ubiquity of mental illness and advocates for more awareness, financing, and assistance for individuals who suffer from it.

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Carter’s most recent book, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety,” was published in 2016. It is a compilation of autobiographical writings in which she reflects on her experiences, values, and future ambitions. She discusses age, faith, family, and the value of giving back to society.

Rosalynn Carter has shown a dedication to harnessing the power of words to educate, inspire, and fight for good change throughout her literary career. Her writings provide a distinct viewpoint on her public life and her steadfast commitment to making the world a better place.

Rosalynn Carter: Awards And Honors

She had been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Rosalynn Carter and Jimmy Carter received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, in 1999. This distinguished honor was given to them in recognition of their remarkable achievements in peace, democracy, and human rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award

Rosalynn won the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library’s Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 2002. This award recognized her commitment to human rights, particularly her work to enhance women’s and children’s rights.

Carter Center Legacy                            

Rosalynn’s services to society go much beyond her accomplishments. She has played a critical role in the Carter Center’s work to promote democracy, conflict resolution, and human rights across the world as a co-founder. The Carter Center has received multiple prizes for its efforts, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Rosalynn Carter: Additional Awards and Honors

  1. Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award (1991)
  2. Jefferson Award for Public Service (1996)
  3. United Nations Children’s Fund International Child Survival Award (1999)
  4. Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health (2000)
  5. American Peace Award (2009)


Rosalynn’s carter’s life exemplifies the potential of human initiative to change the world. Her unrelenting dedication to public service, human rights activism, and determination to bettering the lives of people of the world have won her a position among the most revered and admired people of our time. Her various accolades and distinctions attest to her extraordinary legacy.

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