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Rosalynn Carter

U.S. First Lady

Born: 18 August 1927
Birthplace: Plains, Georgia
Best known as:

First Lady of the United States, 1977-81

Name at birth: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith

 

Rosalynn Carter is the wife of former United States president Jimmy Carter, who served from 1977 to 1981. Rosalynn grew up in Jimmy's hometown of Plains, Georgia, but didn't date him until 1945, when he was home on a visit from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. They married in 1946, after Rosalynn graduated from Georgia Southwestern College (now Georgia Southwestern State University). After seven years as a military wife, Rosalynn returned to Plains when Jimmy took over the Carter family business. From 1962 on she was a political wife, including a stint as First Lady of Georgia during Jimmy's tenure as governor (1971-1975). When Carter ran for president in 1976, Rosalynn campaigned across the country on her own and earned a reputation as a well-spoken and informed partner. As First Lady she was best known for her work improving services for the mentally ill, and as President Carter's emissary abroad, especially in Latin America. Since leaving the White House she has worked with her husband in running the Carter Center and has continued her commitment to caring for those suffering from mental illness.

Extra credit:

The Carters had four children: John (b. 1947, known as Jack), James (b. 1950, known as Chip), Donnel (b. 1952, known as Jeff), and Amy (b. 1967); Rosalynn was 19 when Jack was born, and 40 when Amy was born.

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