Fast facts

Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter share memories from the famed Camp David Accords at a special Presidents Day address last year at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains.

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Rosalynn Carter, wife of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.


♦ Birth date: Aug. 18, 1927

♦ Birth place: Plains, Georgia

♦ Birth name: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith

♦ Father: Wilburn Smith, mechanic

♦ Mother: Allethea (Murray) Smith

♦ Marriage: Jimmy Carter (July 7, 1946-present)

♦ Children: Amy, Oct. 19, 1967; Jeff, Aug. 18, 1952; James Earl III (Chip), April 12, 1950; Jack, July 3, 1947

Other Facts:

♦ President of the board of directors for the “Rosalynn Carter Institute of Caregiving” at Georgia Southwestern State University.

♦ Works for Habitat for Humanity, a group of volunteers that builds homes for the needy.

♦ Advocate for mental health, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution.


1946: Graduates from Georgia Southwestern College.

1953: The Carters return to Plains 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: Publishes the book “First Lady from Plains.”

1985: Initiates the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy.

1987: Publishes the book “Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life” with Jimmy Carter.

1991: Co-launches Every Child By Two, a nationwide campaign to promote childhood immunizations, with Betty Bumpers, the wife of Sen. 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: Publishes the book “Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book for Caregivers.”

1999: Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1999: Publishes the book “Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends and Caregivers,” with Susan K. Golant.

2001: Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

2010: Publishes the book “Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis” with Susan K. Golant and Kathryn E. Cade.

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