PLAINS, Ga. – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, shared an enduring love story that lasted for 77 years, making them the longest-married couple in presidential history. Their partnership transcended their time in the White House, his struggle with health issues, and their commitment to community service.
Meeting at a young age, the Carters had a strong bond that led to a lifelong partnership. After their first date, Jimmy declared to his mother that Rosalynn was the girl he wanted to marry. Even after she initially declined his proposal, they eventually married in 1946, beginning a journey that would inspire many.
Throughout their marriage, the Carters dedicated themselves to humanitarian work, with a special focus on Habitat for Humanity. Their dedication to service and each other stood as a testament to their commitment and love, resulting in a deep, lasting bond that surpassed the lifespans of more than half of all U.S. presidents.
The couple’s journey was not without its challenges. Following Jimmy’s failed re-election bid, he made a major decision to relocate without consulting Rosalynn, leading to years of resentment. Despite this, the couple chose to live modestly, returning to the same house they lived in prior to the presidency.
The Carters’ endearing love story and shared hobbies, which included tennis, bird-watching, hunting, and skiing, demonstrated the joy they found in each other’s company. They remained each other’s chief caregivers during their later years, facing health challenges together and marking their 75th wedding anniversary with a celebration at their old high school.
Rosalynn’s recent passing at the age of 96 leaves Jimmy, now 99, without his beloved wife for the first time since his teenage years, but their love story and legacy continue to inspire many.
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