President Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, paid their respects to former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who died Sunday at the age of 96, saying in a joint statement that Carter “[inspired] a nation.”
“First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way,” the Bidens said in a joint statement Sunday, noting the accomplishments Carter achieved through her decades of work as a humanitarian.
“Throughout her incredible life as First Lady of Georgia and the First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn did so much to address many of society’s greatest needs,” the Bidens said. “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 also noted “the deep love” Carter shared with her husband, former President Carter, saying “their humble leadership is the definition of patriotism,” and they added that Carter “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,” the Bidens added. “She will always be in our hearts.”
“On behalf of a grateful nation, we send our love to President Carter, the entire Carter family, and the countless people across our nation and the world whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of the life and legacy of Rosalynn Carter,” the first couple concluded in their statement. “May God bless our dear friend. May God bless a great American.”
The Carter Center, a human rights nonprofit organization founded by Carter and her husband, announced Sunday afternoon that the former first lady passed away just after 2 p.m. Sunday at her home in Plains, Ga. Carter, who was married to her husband for 77 years, was placed in hospice care two days ago.
Talking to reporters in Norfolk, Va., Biden said that his family, including children and grandchildren, are with the former president, adding that he had been the first U.S. senator to endorse Carter.
“I was the first person to endorse him as a U.S. senator when he ran. But he had this great integrity, he still does, and she did, too,” Biden told the reporters pool. “Imagine, they were together, what, 77 years?”
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