Former first lady Rosalynn Carter dies at 96

Rosalynn Carter, the mild-mannered but determined wife of President Jimmy Carter who advocated for mental health and a gentler nation, died Sunday at home in Plains, Ga. She was 96.

She died with her family by her side, according to the family’s charity organization.

Mrs. Carter, a true life partner to Jimmy Carter who helped propel him from rural Georgia to the White House, became the most politically active first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt.

A small-town working woman with an airtight bond to her husband, Carter represented a new type of first lady: She toted a briefcase to the White House, traveled often and picked up the nickname “Steel Magnolia” as she pushed for human rights abroad and at home.

She became known as a tireless campaigner and an effective — if initially reluctant — public speaker. Beyond simply supporting her husband’s political career, she emerged as a significant voice in Washington, setting her focus on increasing childhood immunizations, bolstering access to mental health care and battling gender inequality.