The Carters had the longest marriage of any president and first lady.

Rosalynn Carter passed away at 96, and she and President Jimmy Carter had been married for an amazing 77 years.

They got married when he was 21 and she was 18. It’s the longest marriage ever for a U.S. president.

In 2021, Jimmy said to the AP, ‘The key to a long-lasting marriage is marrying the right person.’

Here, Parade reveals more of the details and secrets of their long and happy union.

How long were Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter married?

The couple married July 7, 1946 and were together for 77 years.

How old is Rosalynn Carter?

She was 96.

How old is Jimmy Carter?

Former President Jimmy Carter was born Oct. 1, 1924. He is 99.

How did Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter meet?

They first met in Plains, Georgia when he was three and she was just one day old! Jimmy’s mom, Lillian, who was a nurse, helped deliver Rosalynn, and she brought Jimmy to see the baby.

How did they start dating?

Jimmy and Rosalynn became friends through his sister, Ruth. Rosalynn thought Jimmy was very handsome when she saw his photo on Ruth’s wall. She told Ruth about her crush on him. When Jimmy came back from the Naval Academy, he asked Rosalynn out, and they went on a double date with Ruth and her boyfriend. They got along well and talked a lot on the back of a Ford Coupe. Jimmy even kissed her on their first date. While he was at the military Academy, they wrote letters to each other.

How fast did Jimmy fall in love with Rosalynn?

Jimmy fell in love with Rosalynn really quickly. After their first date, he told his mom, ‘That was the girl I wanted to marry.’ Later, he told Oprah Winfrey, ‘There was just something about her that was irresistible.’

When did Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter get married?

Jimmy asked Rosalynn to marry him, and she said no at first. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to marry him but because she wanted to finish college. A year later, they got married on July 7, 1946, at the Plains Methodist Church after he graduated from the Naval Academy. In his book ‘The Outlier,’ Kai Bird wrote, ‘They were both virgins.’

What were Jimmy’s letters to Rosalynn like?

\When Jimmy and Rosalynn were newlyweds and living on navy bases, he had to go to sea in Hawaii, and he really missed her. In 1949, he wrote to her saying, ‘I love you so very, very much. It’s funny, but when I first leave you, I miss more than anything your mouth and breasts and body and the way you feel and smell to me when we’re making love. But after a day or so, those things become less and less important to me, and I want to touch your hair and hold your hand or look at you across the room.’

What was their biggest marriage crisis?

In 1953, Jimmy decided to leave the Navy and move the family back to Plains, Georgia. At first, Rosalynn was really angry about it because she had set up their home in New York. Jimmy felt he needed to help with the family’s peanut farm after his dad died. Eventually, Rosalynn embraced the small-town life and even thrived working for the Carter family’s peanut business. Her support was really important for Jimmy’s later political career.

How did their mutual ambition lead to the White House?

When Jimmy became Governor in 1970 and ran for President in 1976, his aide Hamilton Jordan said about Rosalynn, ‘She really wants to be the first lady as much as he wants to be president. Actually, she wants it even more than he does.’

How many children did Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have?

The ex-President and his wife had four children—sons Jack, now 76, James III, 73, Donnel, 71, and daughter Amy, 56.

Did absence make the heart grow fonder?

Jimmy and Rosalynn have a policy where they give each other space to do their own things. But they also like doing stuff together. Jimmy said, ‘We find things we both like and focus on them. We started downhill skiing when I was 62 and she was 59. We also do bird-watching, play tennis, and fly-fish.’ Rosalynn added in a 2013 interview, ‘We learned to respect each other.’

What was their bedtime rule?

Jimmy said, ‘We always try not to go to bed angry at each other.’ He honestly said, ‘We get mad a lot, but we try to make up before we go to sleep.’

How did Rosalynn see herself in the marriage?

Rosalynn, the strong former First Lady, wanted to be more than just a wife. She acted like a political partner, even going to Jimmy’s cabinet meetings and taking notes when he was President. This was controversial at the time. Stuart E. Eizenstat, the author of ‘President Carter: The White House Years,’ said, ‘She didn’t hesitate to tell him if she didn’t like something.’

How did Jimmy pay tribute to his wife?

In his 1995 book, ‘Always a Reckoning,’ Jimmy wrote a touching poem about Rosalynn, where he talked about growing old together. He said, ‘With shyness gone and hair turned gray, her smile still makes the birds forget to sing and makes me forget to hear their song.’

What did Jimmy give Rosalynn for their 75th anniversary?

In 2021, when they celebrated their 75th anniversary, the former President bought his wife a diamond necklace with the number ’75’ on it.

How did Jimmy view Rosalynn in later years?

In 2021, the ex-President told The New York Times, ‘Marrying Rosalynn and being together for so long has been the best thing that ever happened to me. We’ve grown to know each other more and more every day in married life.’ During the interview, with Rosalynn beside him, he said, ‘I love her even more now than I did at the beginning, and I loved her a lot back then.’

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