Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter turns 96

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter turns 96
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:20 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 5:52 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - It’s former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s birthday!

The writer, activist and longtime wife of former President Jimmy Carter is 96 on Friday. She will spend a quiet birthday at home with her husband and family enjoying cupcakes and peanut butter ice cream, the Carter Center said. She also plans to release a few butterflies in her private garden.

“I pray that you have many, many, many more (birthdays), but you have reached more than a milestone and to that, we say thank God,” Carol Barner Seay, who was visiting Plains on Friday, said.

Rosalynn has long been known as an advocate for the downtrodden. Through the Carter Center, a nonprofit the couple established in 1982, Rosalynn founded the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy. She also inspired and acted with the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, which aids and brings public awareness to the often-difficult situations of caregivers.

In her hometown of Plains, the Rosalynn Smith Carter Childhood Garden will release hundreds of butterflies to celebrate Rosalynn’s birthday and love of nature on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary as well as Rosalynn’s birthday, will also screen a film called “UNCONDITIONAL” about caregiving at Plains High School at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

RELATED: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter mark 77th wedding anniversary at home in Plains, Georgia

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in July. Jimmy is 98 and has been in home hospice care since February, while the Carter Center announced in May that Rosalynn has dementia.

“They just transcend politics. I equate the, to Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa,” Plains resident Tim Buchanan said. “Everything that they’ve done, they’re two of the most well-known figures in the world.”

RELATED: Rosalynn Carter’s diagnosis could spark mental health conversations

Despite their health conditions, the couple lives happily together at their home in Plains, the Carter Center said.

“Happy birthday and many more,” Vickie Austin, who was visiting Plains on Friday, said. “Just blessings to her and Jimmy for living a wonderful life.”

RELATED: Rosalynn Carter marks 96th birthday at home with the former president, butterflies and ice cream

“Happy birthday Rosalynn. We love you. Thanks for everything you’ve done for Plains and the world. We appreciate you,” Buchanan said.