National News

Rosalynn Carter Fast Facts

Posted January 7, 2013 2:45 p.m. EST

Here is a look at the life of Rosalynn Carter, wife of former President Jimmy Carter.

Personal: Birth date: August 18, 1927

Birth place: Plains, Georgia

Birth name: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith

Father: Wilburn Smith, a mechanic

Mother: Allethea (Murray) Smith

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

Children: Amy, October 19, 1967; Jeff, August 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. The mission of this organization is to help professional and family caregivers with the important role they play in our long-term health care system.

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

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

Timeline: 1946 - Graduates from Georgia Southwestern College.

1953 - The Carters return to Plains, Georgia, 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."

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 Senator 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 - Carter is inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

May 9, 2001 - Is awarded an honorary doctorate from Georgia Southwestern State University for her work with the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development on the university's campus.

May 22, 2003 - The University of California - San Francisco awards Carter the UCSF Medal for her years of work in the area of mental health. It is the equivalent of an honorary doctorate.

March 22, 2005 - Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter step down as the leaders of the Carter Center's Board of Trustees.

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

August 22, 2012 - Speaks at the ribbon cutting for phase one of the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex at Georgia Southwestern State University.

October 13, 2014 - Announces the next Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter Habitat Work Project will be building homes in Nepal. The Carters' goal, with thousands of volunteers, is to help build shelter for 100,000 Nepali families by 2016.