Former first lady Rosalynn Carter dead at 96 after dementia battle

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has died following her battle with dementia. She was 96.

The humanitarian and wife of 39th President Jimmy Carter died peacefully in her home with her family by her side, per a statement provided to The Post from the Carter Center.

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” President Carter, 99, said. 

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has died following her battle with dementia.
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“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.”

Rosalynn was diagnosed with dementia in May 2023, joining her husband in home hospice care in November.

In the White House, the Georgia native was nicknamed “the Steel Magnolia” for her strong yet gentle nature as first lady.

She was 96.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rosalynn’s time was spent campaigning for people with disabilities, women’s rights issues as well as pushing back on the narrative surrounding mental health issues at the time.

Her work in the mental health field led to the passing of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 with the President’s Commission on Mental Health.

She also founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers in 1987.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams expressed his condolences Sunday, tweeting, “First Lady Rosalynn Carter lived a life of faith, service and decency. Her passing is a loss for our country.”

Rosalynn worked extensively with causes surrounding mental health during her time as first lady.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer our condolences to President Carter, the Carter family and all who knew and loved her.”

Senator Cory Booker also tweeted about the former first lady’s passing.

“All her life Rosalynn Carter dedicated herself to serving others. As First Lady she served our country with grace and kindness. My heart is with her love of over 75 years, President Carter and their family today.”

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