Reactions are pouring in from former U.S. presidents and first ladies over the death of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former President Carter, with leaders paying tribute to the global humanitarian’s legacy.
Former first lady Michelle Obama, the wife of former President Obama, pointed to Rosalynn’s extensive advocacy for mental health, elderly care and women’s rights.
“Guided by her abiding faith and her commitment to service, Mrs. Carter used her platform in profoundly meaningful ways,” Michelle wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The former first lady said Carter would sometimes meet with her at the White House during the Obama administration and offer words of advice.
“[Carter] reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did,” Michelle wrote. “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others.
In a repost of his wife’s tribute to Carter, Obama said the former first lady’s life is a reminder that “no matter who we are, our legacies are best measured not in awards or accolades, but in the lives we touch.”
Rosalynn died Sunday at the age of 96 at her home in Plains, Ga., about two days after she entered hospice care. She was diagnosed with dementia in March, shortly after her husband himself entered hospice care in February following a series of hospital stays.
Rosalynn and Carter were married for 77 years, the longest of any president and first lady. At 99, Carter is the oldest former living president in U.S. history.
Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush called Carter a woman of dignity and strength.
“There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” the former presidential first couple wrote in a statement. “She leaves behind an important legacy in her work to destigmatize mental health. We join our fellow citizens in sending our condolences to President Carter and their family.”
Former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored Carter’s work that spread “hope, health and democracy across the globe.”
“Rosalynn Carter was a compassionate and committed champion of human dignity everywhere,” they wrote in a statement.
“Rosalynn will be forever remembered as the embodiment of a life lived with purpose,” the Clintons added. “Hillary and I are deeply grateful for her extraordinary service to our nation and world, and for more than forty years of friendship.”
Former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump said the former first lady leaves behind a “legacy of extraordinary accomplishment and national service.”
“Melania and I join all Americans in mourning the loss of Rosalynn Carter,” Trump posted on his Truth Social media platform. “She was a devoted First Lady, a great humanitarian, a champion for mental health, and a beloved wife to her husband for 77 years, President Carter.”
Melania Trump also posted separately about her fellow first lady, writing on Truth Social, “Rosalynn Carter leaves behind a meaningful legacy not only as First Lady but as a wife and mother. We will always remember her servant’s heart and devotion to her husband, family, and country. May she rest in peace.”
Updated at 8:38 pm.
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