Eleanor Rosalynn Carter ( ROH-zə-lin; née Smith; August 18, 1927 – November 19, 2023) was an American writer and activist who served as the first lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981, as the wife of President Jimmy Carter. Throughout her decades of public service, she was perhaps best known for being a leading advocate for women's rights and mental health.
Carter was born and raised in Plains, Georgia, graduated as valedictorian of Plains High School, and soon after attended Georgia Southwestern College, where she graduated in 1946. She first became attracted to her husband, also from Plains, after seeing a picture of him in his U.S. Naval Academy uniform, and they married in 1946. Carter helped her husband win the governorship of Georgia in 1970, and decided to focus her attention in the field of mental health when she was that state's first lady. She campaigned for her husband during his successful bid to become president of the United States in the 1976 election, defeating incumbent Republican president Gerald Ford.
Carter was politically active during her husband's presidency, though she declared that she had no intention of being a traditional first lady. During his term of office, Carter supported her husband's public policies as well as his social and personal life. To remain fully informed, she sat in on Cabinet meetings at the invitation of the President. Carter also represented her husband in meetings with domestic and foreign leaders, including as an envoy to Latin America in 1977. He found her to be an equal partner. She campaigned for his re-election bid in the 1980 election, which he lost to Republican Ronald Reagan.
After leaving the White House in 1981, Carter continued to advocate for mental health and other causes, and wrote several books. She and her husband contributed to the expansion of the nonprofit housing organization Habitat for Humanity. In 1987, she founded the Institute for Caregivers, to inform and support the efforts of caregivers. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom alongside her husband in 1999.
Source : Wikipedia