Rosalynn Carter Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Earnings

Rosalynn Carter Net Worth

Rosalynn Carter has an estimated net worth of $10 million. Rosalynn Carter is an American first lady best known as the wife of President Jimmy Carter during his term from 1977-’81. She earns most of her income from her book deals.

Rosalynn Carter was born in Plains, Georgia on August 18, 1927. She married fellow Plains native Jimmy Carter at the age of 18 and supported him during his political rise in the 1960s.

Carter became Georgia’s first lady when her husband was elected governor in 1970, and the first lady of the United States when he was inaugurated as president in 1977. During her husband’s presidency, she served as the Active Honorary Chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health.

To calculate the net worth of Rosalynn Carter, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Rosalynn Carter
Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $7 Thousand
Annual Income: $1 Million
Source of Wealth: Former U.S. First Lady, Author

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Early Life

Rosalynn Carter was born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith in Plains, Georgia, on August 18, 1927. Wilburn Edgar Smith, the first of four children, was a mechanic and farmer, and her mother, Allie Murray Smith, was a housewife. When her father died in 1940, Rosalynn was forced to work as a hairdresser to help her mother make ends meet. Her mother also worked multiple jobs to help support them.

Rosalynn graduated as valedictorian from Plains’ local high school. She became close to Jimmy Carter, her best friend’s older brother and a cadet at the Annapolis Naval Academy, during high school. They began dating, and in December 1945, Carter proposed to Rosalynn, who declined because she felt it was too early in their courtship. Two months later, Rosalynn accepted Carter’s second proposal. On July 7, 1946, they were married at Plains Methodist Church.

The newlyweds relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, the first of many assignments in Jimmy’s naval career that would take them to bases all over the country for the next seven years. Rosalynn split her time between raising her three sons — John, James, and Jeffrey — and furthering her education in literature and art through home-study programs.

Following Jimmy’s father’s death in 1953, they returned to Plains, where Jimmy ran the family peanut business. Rosalynn was in charge of the company’s bookkeeping in what would turn out to be the first of many collaborations between her and her husband.

First Lady of Georgia

Jimmy Carter was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1961, frequently leaving Rosalynn to handle business while he was away at legislative sessions. During his subsequent two terms, she also handled his political correspondence.

The couple’s working relationship was strengthened further when Jimmy ran for governor of Georgia in 1970 and Rosalynn campaigned for him. Rosalynn became deeply interested in mental health issues while campaigning as a result of her frequent conversations with his constituents.

When Jimmy was eventually elected governor, Rosalynn handled all of the traditional responsibilities of a first lady, such as hosting, but she also went above and beyond, taking over the financial accounting and landscaping of the governor’s mansion, as well as writing a book about it.

More importantly, she pursued her newfound interest by working to reform the state’s mental health system. She served on the Governor’s Commission to Improve Services to the Mentally and Emotionally Handicapped, was the honorary chairperson of the Georgia Special Olympics, and volunteered at an Atlanta hospital, giving her an impressive professional resume in the mental health field.

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First Lady of America 

Rosalynn immediately began campaigning for her husband when Jimmy announced his presidential candidacy nearly two years before the 1976 election, traveling across the country by car and plane, eventually campaigning in 42 states.

While campaigning, she became the first candidate’s wife to make her own campaign promise: as first lady, she would prioritize the welfare of the nation’s mentally ill.

Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39th President of the United States in 1977, with Rosalynn by his side.

Inaugural Gown

Carter caused a stir when she chose to re-wear her blue chiffon gown with gold trim to the inaugural ball (she wore the gown twice before). Her decision, however, was a reflection of the Carters’ personality.

“It enhanced the incoming Carter presidency’s notions of modesty and frugality,” Smithsonian Museum of American History Curator Lisa Kathleen Graddy explained.

Getting Political 

As first lady, she was involved in President Carter’s political affairs to an unprecedented degree, advising him on domestic and foreign affairs, advising him on speeches, arranging his appointments, and even attending cabinet meetings.

Rosalynn traveled to Latin America and the Caribbean as the president’s personal representative for substantive political meetings in June 1977. However, upon her return, she was heavily chastised for being unqualified for the job and, as a result, limited similar travel in the future to humanitarian missions.

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Advocacy for Mental Health & the Elderly

Rosalynn served on the Active Honorary Chair President’s Commission on Mental Health in 1977. Her collaboration with this committee resulted in the Mental Health Systems Bill, which was introduced in Congress in May 1979.

The bill’s goal was to revamp both state and federal support for the chronically mentally ill, as well as to draft a bill of rights to protect the mentally ill from discrimination. Rosalynn testified before Congress about the bill on May 15, 1979. It became law in September of 1980.

Another of Rosalynn’s main concerns as first lady was the well-being of senior citizens. To that end, she established a task force to review federal programs for the elderly and lobbied Congress to pass the Age Discrimination Act, which removed restrictions on the retirement age in the workforce. Rosalynn was also the chairperson of the White House Conference on Aging.

Rosalynn stood out in her more traditional duties as first lady, but this time through the frugal way she ran the White House, serving inexpensive menus at dinners, refusing to serve hard alcohol, and wearing simple, non-designer clothing. Rosalynn also sponsored a poetry festival and a jazz festival, which were both firsts for the White House.

After the White House

Rosalynn returned to the campaign trail and made speeches as Jimmy Carter’s representative throughout the primary season in 1980, when he was up for re-election but was mostly confined to the White House due to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. He was eventually defeated by Ronald Reagan.

Rosalynn Carter’s life has been anything but quiet since leaving the White House. She has written several books, including an autobiography titled First Lady from Plains (1984), which was praised for providing insight into Jimmy Carter’s administration.

She has also continued to advocate for issues such as mental health, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution. She has also worked to address the unmet needs of US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and she has spoken out against the “disgraceful” policy of separating children from their parents at border crossings.

Rosalynn has received numerous honors for her efforts, including various mental health awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001.


The Carters have eight grandchildren, including Jason Carter, who has served as a state senator in Georgia and is running for governor as a Democratic candidate in 2014.

Jeremy Carter, the Carters’ 28-year-old grandson (from their son Jeff), died of a heart attack in 2015.

Further Reading

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