Rosalynn Carter: Biography, Age, Family, Death, Career, and Net worth

Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter was an American author, activist, and humanitarian famous for being the wife of Jimmy Carter. The 39th President of the United States. Rosalynn served as the first lady of the United States between 1977 to 1981.

Rosalynn Carter passed away in Plains, Georgia, on 19 November 2023 at the age of 96,  two days after her grandson Jason Carter announced she had entered hospice care. She is the second longest-lived first lady after Bess Truman, the wife of former President Harry S. Truman. Bess died in 1982 at the age of 97.

 Summary of Rosalynn Carter’s biography

  • Name: Rosalynn Smith Carter
  • Nickname: Steel Magnolia
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of birth: 18 August 1927
  • Died on: 19 November 2023
  • Age at the time of death: 96 years old
  • Place of birth: Plains, Georgia, United States
  • Nationality: American
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Sexuality: Straight
  • Mother: Frances Allethea Murray
  • Father: Wilburn Edgar Smith
  • Siblings: 3
  • Net worth: $10 million
  • Education: Plains high school, Georgia Southwestern College
  • Occupation: Humanitarian, author, activist

Rosalynn Carter’s biography

The former first lady was born on 18 August 1927in Plains, Sumter County, Georgia, to Edgar Wilburn Smith and Frances Allethea Murray.  Rosalynn’s mother was a dressmaker, teacher and postal clerk, while her father was a farmer, bus driver and auto mechanic who owned the first auto shop in Sumter County.

Her father died of Leukemia in 1990, aged 44, while her mother died on 1 April 2000 at age 94. She was a staunch Christian and deacon at Plains Baptist church. She grew up alongside her three younger siblings, Murray Lee Smith, William Jerrold Smith, and Lilian Allethea Smith Wall.

Lee was born in 1932 and served as a math teacher, coach and minister, while William was born in 1929. He was an engineer. Lilian served as a real estate broker and has worked for banks in Americus and Atlanta. She was born in 1936.

Rosalynn’s brother, William, died on 20 November 2003 at the age of 74, while Lee Smith passed away on 26 January 2003 at the age of 71.

What was Rosalynn Carter’s age at the time of her death?

Rosalynn died at the age of 96 years old. She was born on18 August 1927, and died on 19 November 2023.


She went to Plains High School and graduated in 1944 as valedictorian. She then attended Georgia Southwestern College.


Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn supported her husband, Jimmy Carter, in the 1970 Georgia governorship elections and became the state’s first lady. Her role facilitated her appointment to the Governor’s commission to improve services for the mentally and emotionally handicapped purposefully.

In 1977, she was appointed as an honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health. As First Lady, she appeared before the Senate committee concerning the Mental Health Systems Act enacted in 1980. She became the second First Lady to address the congress after Eleanor Roosevelt.

She was also the third First Lady to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after Eleanor Roosevelt and Abigail Adams. In 1983, after exiting the White House, she was elected to the board of directors of the Gannett Company.

She also founded the Carter Center’s Mental Health program and Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. Furthermore, she was a distinguished centennial lecturer at Agnes Scott College from 1988 to 1992.

As a humanitarian, she received several honorary degrees and awards during her term of service.  Some of the awards she received include the Notre Dame Award for International Humanitarian Service and Presidential Medal of Freedom and Centennial Award of Distinction.

Rosalynn was also a renowned author. She co-authored several books, including Everything To Gain, First Lady from Plains, and Helping Someone with Mental Illness.

What was Rosalynn Carter known for?

She is famous for being the former US First Lady from 1977 to 1981. She was also known for advocating for numerous causes, including mental health research.

What is Rosalynn Carter’s net worth?

Her net worth is estimated at $10 million. She earned her wealth primarily from her career as a public servant and author.

How did Rosalynn Carter and Jimmy carter meet?

The former First Lady met Jimmy in Plains, Georgia, after seeing a photo of him in his Annapolis, U.S Naval Academy uniform. The two were riding in the back seat of Ruth Carter Stapleton’s boyfriend’s car when Jimmy gave Rosalynn a surprise kiss.

Jimmy eventually graduated from the academy, and the two love birds tied the knot on 7 July 1946, three decades before the White House victory. At the time of Rosalynn’s death in November 2023, the couple had been married for 77 years, making them the longest in presidential history.

How many children did Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn have?

The couple had four children: three sons, John William, James Earl Carter III, and Donnel Jeffrey and one daughter, Amy Lynn. John was born on 3 July 1947, while James Earl was born on 12 April 1950. Donnel and Amy Lynn were born on 18 August 1952 and 19 October 1967, respectively.

Donnel Jeffrey is a co-founder of Computer Mapping Consultants. John William Carter is a politician and entrepreneur, while Amy Lynn is a member of the Carter Center’s board of counsellors.  Amy Carter has been married to James Wentzel since 1996.

Who are Rosalynn Carter ‘s grandchildren?

Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter have 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Some of her grandchildren include Jason, Sarah, James Carter IV, Joshua, Margaret Alicia, Jeremy Carter, and Hugo James Wentzel.

Is Rosalynn Carter still living?

No, unfortunately, she passed away on 19 November 2023. Rosalynn’s cause of death was not made public. However, the former first lady was diagnosed with dementia in May 2023, four months before her death.

Was Rosalynn diagnosed with breast cancer?

In April 1977, the former first lady underwent surgery to remove a nonmalignant breast tumour.  She was 49 years old at the time. The tumour was discovered during a gynaecological checkup at Bethesda Naval Hospital. She was immediately taken into surgery.

What did Jimmy Carter say about his wife?

During the final tribute held on 29 November 2023 at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, former President Jimmy Carter said Rosalynn was his equal partner in everything he accomplished.

was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished. 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.

Was Jimmy Carter at Rosalynn’s funeral?

Jimmy was among those who attended Rosalynn’s funeral service. The former president sat in the front row wearing a red lei, an apparent nod to commemorate the time he and the former first lady spent in Hawaii when he was in the Navy. Also in attendance were President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.

Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump, Jill Biden, and Laura Bush also attended the service. The service was held at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. Jimmy taught Sunday school in the same church for many years after his presidency.

Jimmy has spent most of the year in hospice care at home. Therefore, his appearance at Rosalynn’s funeral service allowed the public a rare glimpse of him. Jimmy was the 39th U.S. president.

Frequently asked questions

Who is Rosalynn Carter?

She is an author, humanitarian and former US First Lady.

What is Rosalynn Carter’s age?

She is 96 years old as of 2023. She was born in 1927.

Where was Rosalynn Carter’s place of birth?

She was born in Sumter County, Plains, Georgia.

Does Rosalynn Carter have siblings?

Yes, she has three siblings : They are Murray Lee Smith, William Jerrold Smith and Lilian Allethea Smith Wall.

Is Rosalynn Carter still living?

No, she passed away on 19 November 2023.

How old was Rosalynn Carter when she got married?

She married in August 1927 at 18, just one month before she turned 19.


Rosalynn Carter, famous as Steel Magnolia, was the First Lady of the 39th President of the United States.  Rosalynn died in November 2023. She became the second longest-lived first lady after Bess Truman, President Harry S. Truman.

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