Carter, Rosalynn, 1927-

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Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter (b. Eleanor Rosalynn Smith, August 18, 1927, Plains, GA) has worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world. Today, she is an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The center is a private, nonprofit institution founded by former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter in 1982.

A full partner with the president in all the center’s activities, the former first lady is a member of The Carter Center Board of Trustees. She created and chairs The Carter Center’s Mental Health Task Force, an advisory body of experts, consumers, and advocates promoting positive change in the mental health field. Each year, she hosts the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, bringing together leaders of the nation’s mental health organizations to address critical issues. Mrs. Carter emerged as a driving force for mental health when, during the Carter administration, she became active honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health, which resulted in passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980.

She served on the Policy Advisory Board of The Atlanta Project (TAP), a program of The Carter Center addressing the social ills associated with poverty and quality of life citywide, from the program’s inception in 1991 until its transfer to Georgia State University in 1999. In 1988, she convened with three other former first ladies the “Women and the Constitution” conference at The Carter Center to assess that document’s impact on women. Outside the center, Mrs. Carter is president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) at Georgia Southwestern State University, which was established in her honor on the campus of her alma mater in Americus, Georgia. Through research, education, and training, the RCI promotes the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and professional caregivers; delineates effective caregiving practices; builds public awareness of caregiving needs; and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities. A mother of four, she has maintained a life long dedication to issues affecting women and children. In 1991, she launched with Mrs. Betty Bumpers, wife of former U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, “Every Child By Two,” a nationwide campaign to publicize the need for early childhood immunizations. She also works with Habitat for Humanity, participating in the annual one-week Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project that began in 1984 building homes for the needy, and Project Interconnections, a public/private nonprofit partnership to provide housing for homeless people who are mentally ill. She served as distinguished centennial lecturer at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, from 1988 1992 and is currently a distinguished fellow at the Emory University Department of Women’s Studies in Atlanta.

Since graduating from Georgia Southwestern College in 1946, Mrs. Carter has received many honors, among them the Volunteer of the Decade Award from the National Mental Health Association; the Award of Merit for Support of the Equal Rights Amendment from the National Organization for Women; the Notre Dame Award for International Service; the Eleanor Roosevelt Living World Award from Peace Links; the Kiwanis World Service Medal from Kiwanis International Foundation; the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service; the Georgia Woman of the Year Award from the Georgia Commission on Women; the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine; the United States Surgeon General’s Medallion; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. In 2001 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

She has written five books: her autobiography First Lady from Plains; Everything To Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life, a book about life after the White House co-authored with President Carter; Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book For Caregivers (with Susan K. Golant); Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers (with Susan K. Golant), which was selected as the winner of the 1999 American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book Award in the service category; and Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis (with Susan K. Golant and Kathryn E. Cade). She continues to travel and speak throughout the world, is a deacon at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, and enjoys fly-fishing, bird-watching, swimming, and biking in her free time.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Eldridge mss., 1941-1978 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
referencedIn Philip Faversham papers, 1919-1982 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Audiotape collection of the National Women's Conference, 1977 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, Amy Carter, Carol Channing - White House Staff Halloween party
referencedIn Osborne, Benjamin A., 1898-1986. Papers, 1928-1986 (bulk 1972-1986). Indiana Historical Society Library
referencedIn Mondale, Joan. Second Lady's Office Files, 1933-1981 (bulk 1976-1981). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 9/20/79 [2]
referencedIn Cooper, Lorraine Rowan, 1906-1985. Papers, 1936-1983 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Villa Maria College of Buffalo (N.Y.). Office of the Vice President for Development. Records, 1961-[ongoing]. Villa Maria College of Buffalo
referencedIn Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985. Patricia Harris papers, 1950-1983 (bulk 1977-1980). Library of Congress
referencedIn Díaz Alejandro, Carlos Federico. Carlos Federico Díaz Alejandro papers, 1957-1985. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Papers, 1922-1987 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Angier Biddle Duke Papers, 1923-1990s and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 11/7/79 [1]
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 8/22/77 [1]
referencedIn Andreĭ Sakharov papers, 1852-2002 (inclusive), 1960-1990 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Rodgers, Dorothy F., 1909-. Papers, 1922-1987 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Obama Inaugural Photograph Collection, 2009-197., 2009 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's State Dinners Files
referencedIn Audiotapes, 1959-1990 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's Chronological Files
referencedIn Erik H. and Joan M. Erikson papers, 1925-1985 (inclusive) 1960-1980 (bulk). Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
referencedIn Rosalynn Carter - With White House Preservation group and Carol Channing
referencedIn Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997. Papers, 1884-1998 (inclusive), 1929-1998 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Diana Mara Henry Photographic Archive, 2002-081., 1977 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's Press Release and Speeches Files
referencedIn Records, 1967-1990 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 8/17/78
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Treasury. 1775 - 2005. Photographs of U.S. Presidents, Department Officials and Personalities, and Facilities
referencedIn Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002. Cyrus R. Vance and Grace Sloane Vance papers, 1919-2005 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Additional papers of Betty Friedan, 1941-2006 (inclusive), 1980-2000 (bulk) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Jimmy Carter Library Oral History Collection. 1977 - 1990. Interviews with Rosalyn Carter
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's Foreign Trips Files
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 11/7/79 [2]
creatorOf Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993. National Public Radio, in cooperation with Young Audiences and the Carnegie Hall Corporation presents a gala concert saluting Marian Anderson on the occasion of her 75th birthday, Feb. 27, 1977 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's Audio-Visual Files
referencedIn Joseph Wiley Reid, Sr. papers, 1942-1983. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Carter, Jimmy, 1924-. Correspondence to Eugene Ormandy, 1978-1980. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Papers, 1936-1983 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Cyrus R. and Grace Sloane Vance papers, 1919-2005 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 1921 - 2008. "Air Force Now" Program Video Recordings. 1963 - 1992. President Jimmy Carter in Berlin
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's Press Clippings Files
referencedIn Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr. Papers. 1973 - 2006. Carter Family Genealogical Files
referencedIn Gould, Lewis L. Gubernatorial spouses collection, 1908-1971. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn VARIETIES OF AMERICAN ENGLISH - REGIONAL DIALECTS (PEKING VERSION) United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Faversham, Philip. Philip Faversham papers, 1919-1982. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Records of the Office of the National Security Advisor (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Zbigniew Brzezinski's Trip Files
referencedIn Photographs of Peace Corps Activities and Personnel (Contact Sheet File), 1961 - 1990 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Carlos Federico Diaz Alejandro Papers, 1957-1985. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn 10/1/78, Pres. Carter at Kennedy Space Center (T-16141) Jimmy Carter Library
referencedIn Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, Amy Carter, Carol Channing - White House Staff Halloween party
referencedIn Rosalynn Carter - With White House Preservation group and Luciano Pavarotti, Carol Channing
referencedIn Papers, 1884-1998 (inclusive), 1929-1988 (bulk) Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Staff Scheduling Memoranda. 1977 - 1978. 6/9/77-6/21/77
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. 89th MAGP, Andrews AFB, Maryland
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Staff Secretary. 1976 - 1981. Presidential Files. 1977 - 1981. 11/13/79 [1]
referencedIn Villa Maria College of Buffalo (N.Y.). Community services records, 1965-[ongoing]. Villa Maria College of Buffalo
referencedIn Meyer, Anne Heineman, 1925-. Anne Heineman Meyer papers, 1958-1988 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Patricia Harris Papers, 1924-1983, (bulk 1977-1980) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Bennett, Isaiah, 1926-2002. Isaiah Bennett papers, ca. 1932-2002. College of Charleston, Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Records of the First Lady's Office (Carter Administration). 1977 - 1981. Mary Hoyt's Domestic Trips Files
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Bennett, Isaiah, 1926-2002. person
associatedWith Betty Friedan person
parentOf Carter, Amy person
parentOf Carter, Jack, 1947- person
spouseOf Carter, Jimmy, 1924- person
associatedWith Cooper, Lorraine Rowan, 1906-1985. person
associatedWith Díaz Alejandro, Carlos Federico. person
associatedWith Díaz Alejandro, Carlos Federico. person
associatedWith Dorothy (Feiner) Rodgers, 1909- person
associatedWith Duke, Angier Biddle, 1915-1995 person
associatedWith Eldridge, James Anthony, 1920-1978 person
correspondedWith Erikson, Erik H. (Erik Homburger), 1902-1994 person
associatedWith ESTHER (EGGERTSEN) PETERSON, 1906-1997 person
associatedWith ESTHER (EGGERTSEN) PETERSON, 1906-1997 person
associatedWith Faversham, Philip person
associatedWith Faversham, Philip. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Georgia Southwestern College corporateBody
correspondedWith Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985 person
correspondedWith Harris, Patricia, 1924-1985. person
associatedWith Henry, Diana Mara person
associatedWith Kennerly, David Hume person
associatedWith Lorraine (Rowan) Cooper, 1906-1985 person
associatedWith McNeely, Robert person
associatedWith Meyer, Anne Heineman, 1925- person
associatedWith Mondale, Joan. person
associatedWith National Women's Conference corporateBody
associatedWith Naythons, Matthew person
associatedWith Osborne, Benjamin A., 1898-1986. person
associatedWith Peterson, Esther, 1906-1997. person
associatedWith Rodgers, Dorothy F., 1909- person
associatedWith Sakharov, Andreĭ, 1921-1989 person
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002 person
associatedWith Vance, Cyrus R. (Cyrus Roberts), 1917-2002. person
associatedWith Vance, Grace Sloane, 1918- person
associatedWith Villa Maria College of Buffalo (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Villa Maria College of Buffalo (N.Y.). Office of the Vice President for Development. corporateBody
correspondedWith Women's Equity Action League corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Plains GA US
Plains GA US
Subject
First ladies
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1927-08-18

Female

Americans

English

Information

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