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Rosalynn Carter is an American First Lady best known as the wife of President Jimmy Carter during his term from 1977-'81.
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However, he was ultimately defeated by Ronald Reagan.
Since leaving the White House, Rosalynn Carter's life has been anything but quiet. She has authored numerous books, including an autobiography titled First Lady from Plains (1984), praised for its insight into Jimmy's administration. She has also continued to advocate for mental health issues, as well as early childhood immunization, human rights,
and conflict resolution. Ever the champion of the neglected, she has also worked to address the unmet needs of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
For her efforts, Rosalynn has received countless honors, including various mental health awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. In 2001, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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The wives of U.S. presidents are often important American figures in their own right. Although they have no official responsibilities, first ladies are a highly visible part of U.S. government. The role of the first lady has evolved over the centuries, from hostess of the White House to advocates for public policy. Learn about the different causes first ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama have championed over the years, from literacy to addiction to health care reform.
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