Former President Jimmy Carter, wife Rosalynn, will not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration

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Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, will not attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration later this month, marking the first time the couple has missed the ceremony since Carter was sworn in as president in 1977.

The Carters, both in their 90s, sent Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their "best wishes" and said they "look forward to a successful administration," a spokeswoman at the Carter Center in Atlanta said.

Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter are seen ahead of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals, in Atlanta, in this file photo. 

The Carters have spent the coronavirus pandemic mostly at their home in Plains, Ga., where both were raised and where they have lived since leaving the White House in 1981.

In March 2019, Carter became the longest-lived American president, surpassing former President George H.W. Bush, who died the previous November. Carter survived a melanoma diagnosis that spread to his brain in 2015. He has since had several falls and hip replacement surgery.

Carter was the first former president to confirm his plans to attend President Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017. The Carters were seated on the aisle, next to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. The elder Bush was the lone former president at the time who did not attend Trump's inauguration. The Carters traveled to Washington for the elder Bush's funeral.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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