Jimmy Carter admits that as soon as he to be 21 year old, marrying his sweetheart, Rosalynn Smith, 18, was no a sure thing.

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"When i asked Rosalynn come marry me for the first time, she claimed no," Carter said members the the media during a 2019 push conference in ~ a Habitat for humanity site in Nashville, Tennessee.

But Carter, climate attending the U.S. Naval Academy, didn"t take it no because that an answer, and his persistence paid off.

The Carters wed on July 7, 1946, in your hometown of Plains, Georgia, months after they began dating.

But their an initial meeting was lot earlier.

"They in reality met 93 years ago, just a couple of job after Rosalynn Smith to be born," claims author and also Carter biographer Jonathan Alter. "She was ceded by Jimmy Carter"s mother, that was a nurse, and a pair of days after the infant was born, the nurse, Jimmy"s mother, miss Lillian Carter, brought her 3-year-old boy over to watch the baby."

While they have known each other for most of your lives, the previous president says among the secrets to their currently 75-year marriage is … space.

"We"ve had actually a sort of plan on i m sorry we"ve agreed," Carter says. "We provide each various other plenty of an are to carry out our very own things. And we try to discover things we choose to perform together, and also we try to concentration on them. We took increase downhill skiing when I to be 62 years old. She was 59. We"ve taken increase bird-watching and also playing tennis and also fly-fishing. For this reason we"ve obtained a lot of of common things we execute together."

While that policy doesn"t constantly ensure they"ll stop disagreements, once they don"t check out eye to eye, it"s only brief term, that says.


"We shot to make certain we never ever go to sleep in ~ night angry at each other," Carter explains, reflecting his characteristic grin. "We acquire angry often, yet we try to acquire over it before we walk to sleep."

"Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have the most successful partnership in the background of the American presidency," claims Alter, who recorded their relationship in his 2020 publication His an extremely Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life. Change believes Carter can not have actually been president had actually it not been for Rosalynn"s help on the campaign trail in 1976. "Rosalynn is the more shrewd the the two politically," that says.

Before an audience at a 2019 town hall in ~ the Carter facility in Atlanta, Georgia, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter fielded a question about households divided by politics.

"What if the husband and wife had a different feeling around politics? ns think they would certainly fight a lot," Rosalynn Carter claimed to applause and laughter native the crowd.

"Luckily, Rosalynn and I have actually agreed most of the time," Jimmy Carter interjected amid the laughter. "Particularly in 1976!"

Alter claims not only is the Carter relationship historic, however it is also unprecedented.

"Because Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter had actually such a close, personal relationship inside their marriage," transform told VOA during a recent Skype interview, "closer by a lot than Eleanor and Franklin (Roosevelt) or Bill and also Hillary (Clinton). This gave Rosalynn Carter unparalleled affect over her husband"s decisions. We never ever saw anything favor it prior to Jimmy Carter to be president, and also we haven"t watched it since."


"I could advise him, and also I think that"s what arisen our relationship," Rosalynn Carter said during an to exclude, VOA interview in 2015. "We flourished to respect each various other — ns respect what he can do, and also he would respect what I could do. And also from then on, it"s been a an extremely wonderful partnership."

Since leaving the White residence in 1981, the Carters, through their nonprofit Carter Center, have actually traveled the people fighting neglected diseases, promoting democracy and also providing assistance to those experiencing from mental health issues.

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While the work they championed for years continues, the nonagenarian pair have suffered health setbacks in recent years and now continue to be close to residence in Plains, Georgia, where they space celebrating your 75th anniversary with number of hundred family members and friends.

"They can live any place in the human being they wanted," states Carter family friend and Plains ar Jill Stuckey. "A lot of presidents have moved from their home, but they"re safe here. Us take care of them, we love them, and also they recognize that, and they simply love gaining out and also walking the highways of your hometown together they have actually done due to the fact that they were kids."

It is likewise the hometown wherein they will one day permanently rest, together, in ~ a interment site close to their favourite fishing pond.