President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden released a statement on Sunday night honoring the life of the late former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who died earlier that day at age 96.
Carter died peacefully and surrounded by family, according to The Carter Center, after a long life advocating for mental health care, caregivers and women’s rights. She helped revolutionize the office of the first lady with her political activism while her husband, Jimmy Carter, served as president.
In their statement, the Bidens said that Rosalynn Carter “walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way.”
“She was a champion for equal rights and opportunities for women and girls; and 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.”
Earlier this month, Carter had joined her husband in entering hospice care, after she was diagnosed with dementia in the spring. The Carters had been married for 77 years, and Jimmy Carter honored his late wife on Sunday by saying she was his “equal partner in everything I ever accomplished.”
“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,” the Bidens said. “She lived her life by her faith.”
The Bidens are among several politicians ― including former presidents ― and Georgia leaders who have paid tribute to Rosalynn Carter’s legacy. The president and first lady said they always felt Carter’s “hope, warmth and optimism” during their more than four decades of friendship, “through rigors of campaigns, through the darkness of deep and profound loss.”
“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,” the Bidens said.
“May God bless our dear friend. May God bless a great American.”