By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
In a wave of condolences, political leaders and public figures expressed their grief and admiration for the late Rosalynn Carter, former first lady to Jimmy Carter and tireless advocate for various social issues. President Joe Biden, visibly moved, shared his sentiments with reporters as he boarded Air Force One in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday night.
Habitat For Humanity, the Georgia-based charity closely associated with the Carters, expressed sadness at the news. The organization described Carter as a “compassionate and committed champion” who worked tirelessly to help families worldwide.
The late First Lady and her husband co-founded the Carter Center, which expressed its sorrow in a statement by highlighting their global initiatives to strengthen democracy, settle disputes, advance human rights, and eradicate crippling diseases. The center announced that, instead of flowers, contributions in Carter’s memory could be made to the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program or the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.
“He had this great integrity and still does. And she did too,” Biden remarked. “God bless them.” After speaking with the family, Biden learned that Jimmy Carter’s children and grandchildren were by his side during his final moments. The White House later issued an official joint statement from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, lauding Rosalynn Carter’s inspirational impact on the nation.
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also paid their respects, praising Carter’s dignity and strength. “There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” Bush stated.
U.S. Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia emphasized Carter’s compassionate nature and commitment to various causes. “The State of Georgia and the United States are better places because of Rosalynn Carter,” Ossoff stated. “May Rosalynn Carter’s memory be a blessing.”
Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged Carter’s redefinition of the First Lady’s role and her life of service, faith, compassion, and moral leadership. “Her legacy will be a beacon for generations to come,” Harris asserted.
Former first lady Melania Trump expressed her condolences, noting Carter’s meaningful legacy and servant’s heart. “May she rest in peace,” Melania Trump conveyed on X, formerly Twitter.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Carter as a “saintly and revered public servant,” highlighting her historic diplomatic missions and advocacy for mental health. Pelosi offered condolences to the Carter family.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, in a joint statement, referred to Carter as a champion of human dignity. They praised her advocacy for mental health and childhood immunization and her work with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity.
Former first lady Michelle Obama shared a personal connection, revealing that Carter offered advice during their periodic lunches at the White House. “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others,” Obama stated.