Did you know Rosalynn Carter was an advocate for mental health and human rights? | Other facts about the former first lady

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 2:17 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:33 PM CST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Rosalynn Carter, the longtime companion of former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady, has had a number of accomplishments all the way from life in Plains to life in and out of the White House.

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Did you know these facts about Rosalynn Carter?

  • She was born on Aug. 18, 1927, in Plains. Her father was Wilburn Smith and her mother was Allethea Smith.
  • She married Jimmy Carter on July 7, 1946. The two are still married to this day.
  • She graduated from Georgia Southwestern College, now Georgia Southwestern State University, in 1946.
  • The Carters have four children.
  • Rosalynn founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute of Caregiving at Georgia Southwestern State University.
  • Rosalynn is an advocate for mental health, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution.
  • As first lady, Rosalynn focused on mental health and performing arts.
  • She served as the honorary chairperson of the President’s Commission on Mental Health and was instrumental in the passing of the 1980 Mental Health Systems Act.
  • In 1982, she and Jimmy founded The Carter Center.
  • Her first book, “First Lady From Plains,” was published in 1984.
  • She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999.
  • Rosalynn was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001.
  • In 2019, she and Jimmy officially became the longest-married presidential couple in history.
  • In December 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution that recognized Rosalynn’s 50 years of mental health advocacy.
  • In May 2023, it was announced that Rosalynn was diagnosed with dementia.