Open full screen Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were married for over 77 years old. (File photo) Associated Press Feature being tested Log inCreate my account Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from 'a written text. Former American first lady Rosalynn Carter, Jimmy Carter's closest advisor during his only term as president of the United States -United and for the four decades that followed, died at the age of 96. The Carter Center announced that she died Sunday after suffering from dementia and declining health for many months. The Carters were married for more than 77 years, forging what they both described as a full partnership. Unlike many other first ladies, Rosalynn Carter attended cabinet meetings, spoke on controversial issues, and represented her husband on his foreign trips. President Carter's aides sometimes referred to her – privately – as co-president. Rosalynn is my best friend, the perfect extension of me, probably the most influential person in my life, Jimmy Carter told his collaborators during their years in the White House, from 1977 to 1981. Fiercely loyal, compassionate, and politically astute, Rosalynn Carter prided herself on being an activist first lady, and no one doubted her influence behind the scenes. When her role in a high-profile reshuffle was revealed, she was forced to publicly declare: I don't run the government. Many of the president's aides insisted that her political instincts were better than her husband's — often ensuring his support for a project before discussing it with the president. Her iron will, contrasting with her outwardly shy demeanor and soft Southern accent, prompted Washington journalists to nickname her The Steel Magnolia. Both Carters later said that Rosalynn had always been the more political of the two. After Jimmy Carter's crushing defeat in 1980, it was she, not the former president, who contemplated an unlikely comeback, and years later she confessed that she missed their life in Washington. Jimmy Carter is the longest-lived American president. Rosalynn Carter is the second longest-lived first lady, behind Bess Truman, who died at the age of 97. Post navigation “Multiple victims” after shooting in the United States Russia wants to ban 'international LGBT movement' for 'extremism'