Rosalynn Carter

First Lady of the United States (1977—1981)

Eleanor Rosalynn Carter (née Smith; August 18, 1927) is an American activist and writer who had served as First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981 as the wife of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter. She had also served as First Lady of Georgia from 1971 to 1975 when her husband was Governor of Georgia.

Rosalynn Carter
Rose Carter, official color photo, 1977-cropped.jpg
Rosalynn Carter in January 1977
First Lady of the United States
In role
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
PresidentJimmy Carter
Preceded byBetty Ford
Succeeded byNancy Reagan
First Lady of Georgia
In role
January 12, 1971 – January 14, 1975
GovernorJimmy Carter
Preceded byHattie Virginia Cox
Succeeded byMary Elizabeth Talbot Busbee
Personal details
Eleanor Rosalynn Smith

(1927-08-18) August 18, 1927 (age 95)
Plains, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jimmy Carter (1946–present)
ChildrenJohn William, James Earl, Donnel Jeffery, and Amy
ParentsEdgar Smith and Frances Allethea Murray

First LadyEdit

When her husband was Governor of Georgia, she served as First Lady of Georgia from 1971 to 1975.

She was active in politics during her White House years, she sat in on Cabinet and policy meetings and also, serving as her husband's closest adviser.

Envoy AbroadEdit

She also served as an envoy abroad, most notably to Latin America.

Early lifeEdit

She was born in Plains, Georgia.

She was the eldest of the four children of Allethea "Allie" Murray Smith (1905–2000) and Wilburn Edgar Smith (1896–1940). Rosalynn's father died of leukemia when she was 13.


She attended Plains High School and graduated salutatorian.

After completing her schooling, she studied at Georgia Southwestern College, Americus, Georgia.


On July 7, 1946, she and Jimmy Carter were married.


In late May 2023, the Carter Center announced that Carter had been diagnosed with dementia.[1][2]


  1. "Carter Family Statement about Health of First Lady Rosalynn Carter". The Carter Center. Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  2. "Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia, Carter Center says". CNN. Retrieved 2023-05-30.