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Birth date: August 18, 1927
Birth place: Plains, Georgia
Birth name: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith
Father: Wilburn Smith, a mechanic
Mother: Allethea (Murray) Smith
Marriage: Jimmy Carter (July 7, 1946-present)
Children: Amy, October 19, 1967; Jeff, August 18, 1952; James Earl III (Chip), April 12, 1950; Jack, July 3, 1947
Education: Georgia Southwestern College, 1946
Founder of the “Rosalynn Carter Institute of Caregiving” at Georgia Southwestern State University. The mission of this organization is to help professional and family caregivers with the important role they play in our long-term health care system.
Along with the Carter Work Project, partners with Habitat for Humanity, an international group of volunteers who build affordable homes for those in need.
Advocate for mental health, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution.
1953 – The Carters return to Plains, Georgia, and run the family peanut, seed and fertilizer business.
1962 – Jimmy Carter enters politics and wins a seat in the Georgia Senate.
1977-1981 – As first lady, she focuses national attention on performing arts and mental health.
1977-1978 – Serves as the Honorary Chairperson of the President’s Commission on Mental Health, and is instrumental in the passage of the 1980 Mental Health Systems Act.
1982 – Founds the Carter Center with her husband.
1984 – Her book, “First Lady from Plains,” is published.
1985 – Initiates the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy.
1987 – “Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life,” with Jimmy Carter, is published.
1991 – Co-launches Every Child By Two, a nationwide campaign to promote childhood immunizations, with Betty Bumpers, the wife of Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas.
1991-1999 – Serves on the policy advisory board of The Atlanta Project, a program of the Carter Center that addresses the social ills associated with poverty and quality of life around Atlanta.
1994 – “Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers” is published.
1999 – Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1999 – The book, “Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers,” with Susan K. Golant, is published.
2001 – Carter is inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
March 22, 2005 – Carter and her husband step down as the leaders of the Carter Center’s Board of Trustees.
2010 – The book, “Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis,” with Susan K. Golant and Kathryn E. Cade, is published.
August 22, 2012 – Speaks at the ribbon cutting for phase one of the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex at Georgia Southwestern State University.
October 13, 2014 – Announces the next Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter Habitat Work Project will be building homes in Nepal. The Carters’ goal, with thousands of volunteers, is to help build shelter for 100,000 Nepali families by 2016.
February 18, 2018 – Undergoes surgery to remove scar tissue from a portion of her small intestine. The scar tissue formed after a cyst was removed many years ago.
May 16, 2019 – Carter is released from the hospital after being admitted for feeling “faint.” Her husband is released from the hospital the same day after being admitted for falling on his way to go turkey hunting.
February 18, 2023 – In a statement, the Carter Center says that Jimmy Carter will begin receiving home hospice care after a series of short hospital stays.
May 30, 2023 – The Carter Center announces that Rosalynn Carter has dementia.
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