Per the White House website, both Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter grew up in rural Plains, Georgia. Born with the surname Smith, Rosalynn's father died when she was young, and Rosalynn had a tough upbringing. She met Jimmy in 1945, and the next year they were married. That same year, Rosalynn graduated from Georgia Southwestern College, per the Jimmy Carter Library website.
Jimmy was in the navy at that time, and early on in their relationship, the couple moved frequently. When Jimmy's father died in 1953, the Carters returned to Georgia to take over the Carter family peanut farm business. By 1962, Rosalynn played a part in her husband's first successful run for the Georgia state senate as part of the Carter campaign team. She also campaigned for Jimmy in his successful 1970 bid for Georgia governor. Rosalynn also maintained her campaigning role in Jimmy's successful 1976 run for the White House, speaking on her husband's behalf across the country.
Once in office, Rosalynn's influence on the Carter administration and Carter's policies did not go unnoticed, as The Guardian writes. While in the East Wing, Rosalynn reportedly attended cabinet meetings, served as personal emissary to Latin American countries, and even appeared for her husband at several formal functions, among other important duties of the first lady. While her husband was in office, Rosalynn supported the performing arts nationwide, and was honorary chairperson of the President's Commission on Mental Health, among other forms of advocacy.