Carters Become Longest-Married Presidential Couple

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have been married for over 73 years

The Carters
The Carters in 1981.
US Air Force/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / October 19, 2019 9:00 am

Some presidential marriages are warm and loving; others have been beset by controversy. But in the realm of presidential marriages, none has lasted as long as that of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. As of Thursday, they had been married for 26,766 days — setting a new record for the longest presidential marriage

By way of comparison, they’ve been married for a little over 73 years. Three of the most recent four presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump — are also 73 years old. 

The previous record for the longest presidential marriage was held by George H.W. and Barbara Bush.

CNN’s report on the Carters’ milestone includes some fascinating information — including the fact that their marriage almost happened even earlier.

When Jimmy Carter first proposed, Rosalynn Smith — as she was known then — rejected him. Why? She had made a promise to her dying father she’d finish college first.

Earlier this fall, Carter discussed the forthcoming 2020 election with an eye towards the ages of many of the candidates seeking the presidency. His time in office has also been re-evaluated by some historians, leading at least one to conclude that his presidency was, in fact, tremendously underrated.

In the years since he left office, Carter has remained a vibrant part of American civic life. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, and both Carters have written books since leaving the White House. Theirs is an inspiring love story, and one that’s endured over decades of American life. 

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