"During her years in the White House (1977-81), First lady Rosalynn Carter expanded the role of the presidential spouse, regularly attending cabinet meetings and representing her husband, Jimmy Carter, in political forums at home and abroad. A committed and effective campaigner, she posed for this portrait a few days before embarking on a whistle-stop tour from Pittsburgh to Chicago during her husband's successful first run for the presidency.
Carter has devoted much of her life to public service. For more than four decades she has championed the needs of people with mental illness while also advocating on behalf of numerous other causes, including the Equal Rights Amendment, early childhood immunization, Cambodian refugees, and homeless. In 1982 she and her husband co-founded the Carter Center to promote peace and human rights around the globe. They jointly received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999. " -- National Portrait Gallery