The death of Rosalynn Carter.. What do you know about the “steel magnolia”?

In 2015, when the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, announced his brain cancer diagnosis, he was asked what accomplishment he was most proud of and he didn’t hesitate to say it was his marriage to Rosalynn: “This is the culmination of my life.”

The relationship between Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter represented what many call a true love story and a lifelong partnership.

Rosalynn Carter, who as First Lady of the United States focused her efforts on mental health reform and professionalizing her role as the president’s wife, died Sunday at age 96, according to the Carter Center.

The center said in a statement that Rosalyn died peacefully and that her family was by her side at her home in Plains, Georgia.

Her husband, former US President Jimmy Carter, said: “Rosalynn has been an equal partner to me in everything I have accomplished. She has given me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew that someone loved and supported me.”

The Carter Center announced Friday that the former first lady had entered hospice care, where she was diagnosed with dementia in May.

Jimmy Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan four years after his election. His one term in the White House included bringing about a rare peace agreement between Israel and Egypt that continues to this day, and through it all, CNN reported, Rosalynn was at his side, often whispering in his ear.

The Carters redefined and revolutionized the post-presidential era and, through their combined efforts, worked for world peace and human rights on behalf of the Carter Center, an Atlanta-based NGO founded to “make peace, fight disease and build hope.” “

After leaving the White House, the couple traveled to hot spots around the world, including visits to Cuba, Sudan and North Korea, observing elections and working to eradicate Guinea worm disease and other neglected tropical diseases, according to the New York Times.

Rosalynn met Jimmy Carter in their small hometown of Plains, Georgia, Rosalynn wrote in her memoir, “The First Lady of the Plains,” according to CNN.

Rosalyn did not grow up with much money, as her mother was a seamstress and her father was an auto mechanic, who died of cancer when she was thirteen. She helped raise her younger siblings and considered her father’s death the end of her childhood.

Rosalyn met Carter through her sister Ruth, who was Rosalyn’s best friend. When Rosalyn saw Carter’s photo on Ruth’s bedroom wall, she thought, “he was the most handsome man I had ever seen.” She also asked Ruth if she could take her photo of her home with her.

Jimmy and Rosalynn, both devout Southern Baptists, met after a church meeting and immediately began dating. They married shortly after he graduated from the Naval Academy, when she was 18 and he was 21.

“When we got married, I think I was closer to everyone except Jimmy,” Rosalyn wrote in her memoir, “Once we were married, we were close to everyone in town.”

As the wife of a naval officer, Rosalyn moved frequently and managed a large household. The Carters had three children in quick succession, John William “Jack” a year after their marriage in Norfolk, James Earl “Chip” III, less than three years later in Hawaii, and Donnell Jeffrey “Jeff” in New London, Conn. in 1952. Their only child, Amy Lynn, was born in 1967, a year after Carter lost his first bid for governor of Georgia.

According to ABC News, Jimmy Carter was accepted into the elite nuclear submarine program, but resigned his post in Schenectady, New York, after his father’s death, so they could return to the Plains in 1953 to tend the family farm. At that point he decided to move the family without asking Rosalyn’s opinion. Rosalyn was so angry that she refused to speak to him the entire journey south.

Subsequently, Jimmy Carter claimed that he consulted with his wife on all important decisions.

The press later nicknamed her the “Steel Magnolia,” a reference she didn’t mind, as she once said in a CNN interview, “Steel is strong and magnolias are Southern.”

Rosaline was shy by nature and trembled when she had to give a speech early in her husband’s political career in the 1960s.

But by the time she announced her presidential campaign in December 1974, she was an experienced politician herself.

“This shy woman has blossomed in the most extraordinary way,” said Stuart Eizenstadt, Carter’s aide, describing her transformation from housewife to political partner.

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