Former First Lady and partner to President Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, died on Sunday at the Carter’s home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96. Her death comes after an announcement that she was moved into hospice care alongside Carter, 99. Earlier in May, it was revealed that the former first lady had been diagnosed with dementia.

In a statement on Sunday night, Carter fondly recalled Rosalynn as his “equal partner” in every accomplishment. Her “wise guidance and encouragement” were instrumental throughout his journey, he said.

As he put it, “As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”

So far, Rosalynn and Carter are the longest-lived presidential couple, having been married for 77 years. Her death makes her the second longest-lived first lady in America’s history, after President Harry S. Truman’s wife, Bess Truman, who died at 97 in October 1982, almost ten years after Truman’s December 1972 death at 88.

Reacting to the news, President Joe Biden wrote, “First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked her own path, inspiring a nation and the world along the way. On behalf a grateful nation, we send our love to the entire Carter family and the countless people whose lives are better, fuller, and brighter because of Rosalynn Carter.”

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, also issued a statement calling Rosalynn a “woman of dignity and strength.”

“There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” the statement reads.

Born Eleanor Rosalynn Smith on Aug. 18, 1927, in Plains, Georgia, she was the eldest of four children. Life took an early turn for her when, at the age of 13, her father passed away, leaving her to work alongside her mother to support the family and take care of her younger siblings.

After completing high school, she pursued higher education at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus. It was during her freshman year in 1945 that she went on her first date with Jimmy Carter, who was home from the U.S. Naval Academy. Their love story blossomed, and they married the following year in 1946, before he went on to become governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975 and then president of the United States in 1974.

During her time as the First Lady of Georgia and later the United States, she reportedly championed the cause of creating “a more caring society.” Alongside her husband, she co-founded The Carter Center in 1982, a nonprofit dedicated to humanitarian causes.

One of her most notable achievements, reports say, was expanding the role of the First Lady. In an era when most newspapers would simply address her as “Mrs. Carter,” she had her own office and became an active partner in policymaking and international diplomacy.

Even during his bid for the White House, she was instrumental, as she reportedly visited over 40 states on his behalf. “We used the wisdom and advice of each other throughout,” Carter said, calling her “a pinnacle” in his life and “the best thing I ever did.”

Rosalynn leaves behind a loving family, including Carter, four children, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.