Politicians, celebrities and newsmakers around the world have reacted to the announcement of former first lady Rosalynn Carter’s death at the age of 96.
“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” said President Carter said in a statement released by the Carter Center. “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.”
She is survived by her four children, Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
“Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right,” said Chip Carter. “Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today.”
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden paid tribute to Rosalynn Carter, remembering her as a woman who "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; an 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," the first couple said in a statement. 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. She lived her life by her faith."
"Time and time again, during the more than four decades of our friendship – through rigors of campaigns, through the darkness of deep and profound loss – we always felt the hope, warmth, and optimism of Rosalynn Carter," they added. "She will always be in our hearts."
At a Friendsgiving event with military families on Sunday, Dr. Biden touched on the death of Rosalynn Carter: “She was well-known for her efforts on mental health, caregiving and women’s rights. I hope that during the holidays, you’ll include the Carter family in your prayers.”
"They're really an incredible family because they brought so much grace to the office," Biden said of the Carters to reporters after the Virginia event, pointing to President Carter's post-presidential career as a testament to his character.
Vice President Kamala Harris honored Rosalynn Carter as a woman who "lived a life of service, faith, compassion, and unmatched moral leadership."
"As a humanitarian, a public servant, and a global leader, Mrs. Carter improved the lives of millions—and inspired countless more to dedicate their lives to service," Harris said in a statement. "Her legacy will be a beacon for generations to come."
Former President Barack Obama said that "Rosalynn Carter’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."
Former first lady Michelle Obama wrote in a lengthy tribute that Rosalynn Carter "used her platform in profoundly meaningful ways."
"Her groundbreaking work to combat the stigma faced by those struggling with their mental health brought light to so many suffering in silence," Michelle Obama wrote on social media. "She advocated for better care for the elderly. She advanced women’s rights. And she remained a champion for those causes — and many others like building affordable housing for those in need and caring for our nation’s caregivers — in the more than four decades that followed."
"When our family was in the White House, every so often, Rosalynn would join me for lunch, offering a few words of advice and always — always — a helping hand. She reminded me to make the role of First Lady my own, just like she did," she added. "I’ll always remain grateful for her support and her generosity."
Former President George W. Bush called Rosalynn 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. 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,” the 43rd president said in a joint statement with former first lady Laura Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Rosalynn Carter that "throughout her long, remarkable life, she was an unwavering voice for the overlooked and underrepresented."
“Rosalynn Carter was a compassionate and committed champion of human dignity everywhere,” they wrote, later adding: “Rosalynn will be forever remembered as the embodiment of a life lived with purpose. Hillary and I are deeply grateful for her extraordinary service to our nation and world, and for more than forty years of friendship."
"Rosalynn Carter was a remarkable leader. Unwavering in her partnership with her husband, Jimmy, she built upon the work they did together by championing the causes of mental health, human rights, and the needs of children around the world,” shared former Vice President Al Gore in an X post. “I was blessed to have been able to work alongside her on a number of issues and still fondly remember building homes together for Habitat for Humanity. My prayers are with the Carter family during this difficult time. May she rest in peace.”
Former President Donald Trump hailed Rosalynn Carter as "a devoted First Lady, a great humanitarian, a champion for mental health, and a beloved wife to her husband for 77 years, President Carter."
"Our prayers are with the former president, the Carter family, and the entire community of Plains, Georgia, that she loved so much!" he wrote on Truth Social.
Former first lady Melania Trump said 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.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that the former first lady "dedicated her life to serving others."
"America has lost a passionate humanitarian and champion for people all over the world," he wrote on X. "My heart goes out to her entire family.”
"Today, our nation mourns the loss of First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a saintly and revered public servant," former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on social media. "A leader deeply driven by her profound faith, compassion & kindness, First Lady Carter achieved transformational change that has brought hope and healing to countless families."
The Carters have been involved with Habitat for Humanity for over 35 years, championing affordable housing for all. According to Habitat, the couple has worked hand-in-hand with hundreds of thousands of volunteers in 14 countries on over 4,000 homes through the Carter Work Project.
The Atlanta Braves, which the Carters faithfully attended for baseball games over the years, expressed their condolences to the Carter family:
Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus offered his "deepest condolences to the Carter family and the American people," on X and recalled Rosalynn Carter as "an outstanding champion for health and equity. Her legacy must not be forgotten.”
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker shared a photo and said his "heart is with her love of over 75 years, President Carter and their family today."
House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said he is "deeply saddened by the passing of Rosalynn Carter," and remembered the former first lady as a "wonderful humanitarian" who "led a life of service and compassion."
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Carter, a native Georgian, had an “indelible impact on our state and nation as a First Lady to both.”
California Rep. Barbara Lee shared a black-and-white image of the Carters, saying, "This country has lost one of the most impactful, dedicated first ladies in history.”
“She was always eager to help his agenda, but she knew what she wanted to accomplish,” said Kathy Cade, a White House adviser to the first lady and Carter Center board member.
As with many other remembrances, Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff recalled Rosalynn Carter’s dedication to public service. "Among her many accomplishments, Rosalynn Carter will be remembered for her compassionate nature and her passion for women's rights, human rights and mental health reform."
"Today, we remember a mother and a grandmother, a friend, a champion, and a woman who made a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals," wrote fellow Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock on social media. "I pray for strength and comfort for President Carter, and all those across our globe who knew and loved Rosalynn Carter."
“With every moment, Rosalynn Carter showed the world the resilience of the human spirit,” said former Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams. “We thank her for serving the least of these + for giving mental health a voice in a damning silence. My deepest condolences to President Carter and their family during this time of mourning.”
Comedian Wanda Sykes referred to Rosalynn Carter as a "true inspiration and a woman of substance.”
According to The Carter Center, a schedule of memorial events and funeral ceremonies will be posted on the Rosalynn Carter tribute page.