Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are set to become the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history when they celebrate 75 years of marriage this summer.
Their iconic relationship has set the foundation for a lifetime of service where even aged in their 90s they are still actively involved in community work through the Carter Center.
When Jimmy Carter was elected 39th president of the United States in 1977 he was 53 years old and has already been married to Rosalynn for over 30 years.
The Georgia couple married in 1946 when Jimmy was 21 years old and Rosalynn Smith was 18 after they were introduced to each other through his sister.
Jimmy was on a break from the Naval Academy but didn’t hesitate to ask Rosalynn out on a date to see a movie.
The former president told People they rode in the rumble seat of a Ford pickup and that he kissed Rosalynn on that first date – a moment he still remembers ‘vividly’, he said.
Rosalynn had known Jimmy since she was 13 years old and by the time she was 18 she was planning with Jimmy’s sister and best friend Ruth Carter every opportunity see him.
“Ruth and I plotted to get me together with him. She’d call and say ‘Come over! He’s here!’ and I’d go flying over to her house, but he’d be gone again,” she said in the New York Times bestseller “What Makes a Marriage Last.”
Following their first date they both decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
The next morning, Jimmy told his mother that “Rosalynn was the one I wanted to marry.”
Meanwhile Rosalynn said: “I didn’t know a single boy I thought I’d want to spend my life with – until Jimmy came calling.”
They went onto have four children together, and now have 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
While the couple have been keeping a low profile during the Covid pandemic they have been busy planning their forthcoming celebrations in July.
Grandson Jason Carter says although the affair will be a private one it will undoubtedly be a ‘big party’ considering their large circle of friends and family.
“The number of things that have to go right in your life to have a 75th anniversary,” Jason told People, “It’s a truly incredible milestone.”
He said their “big party” complete “with a lot of friends from over the years” will be held at their hometown of Plains, Georgia in various different locations.
Their iconic relationship is even cited as the reason for their long lives.
Jimmy, who turns 97 in October, said it was hard to live until a ripe old age adding: “I think the best explanation for that is to marry the best spouse: someone who will take care of you and engage and do things to challenge you and keep you alive and interested in life.”
They make sure they give each other the space to do the things they love but also come together for their shared passions of bird watching and their faith, reading the bible together every night.
Jimmy whose awards include the United Nations Human Rights Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize, set up the The Carter Center in 1982 with Rosalynn which funds a number of health and peace programs.
Despite being in their 90s this couple never stop giving and helping, they are such an inspiration.
Please share to wish them a Happy Anniversary!