Jimmy Carter

American politician, 39th President of the United States (in office from 1977 to 1981)

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) was the 39th President of the United States. He served from 1977 to 1981. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Jimmy Carter
Carter smiling
39th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
Vice PresidentWalter Mondale
Preceded byGerald Ford
Succeeded byRonald Reagan
76th Governor of Georgia
In office
January 12, 1971 – January 14, 1975
LieutenantLester Maddox
Preceded byLester Maddox
Succeeded byGeorge Busbee
Member of the Georgia State Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 14, 1963 – January 10, 1967
Preceded byDistrict established
Succeeded byHugh Carter
Personal details
James Earl Carter Jr.

(1924-10-01) October 1, 1924 (age 95)
Plains, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Rosalynn Smith (m. 1946)
Children4 including Jack, Amy
ResidencePlains, Georgia, U.S.
Civilian awardsNobel Peace Prize (2002)
See more
SignatureCursive signature in ink
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1943–1953 (Active)
1953–1961 (Reserve)
RankUS Navy O3 infobox.svg Lieutenant
Military awardsAmerican Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
China Service Medal ribbon.svg China Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal

Carter was born in Plains, Georgia. He was a state senator and later the governor of Georgia. His family owned a peanut plantation.[1] The Secret Service called him Peanut One.[1]

During Carter's term as President, he created two new cabinet-level departments. They are the Department of Energy and the Department of Education.

He won a primary against Ted Kennedy for the Democratic Party nomination in the He lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate. After Carter's term in office ended on January 20, 1981, the 52 U.S. hostages held at the U.S. embassy in Iran were released. The 444-day Iran hostage crisis was ended.[2]

After leaving office, Carter and his wife Rosalynn founded the Carter Center in 1982.[3] It is a not-for-profit organization that works to advance human rights. He has traveled widely to conduct peace negotiations, and observe elections. He works for disease prevention and disease eradication in developing countries.

Early lifeEdit

Carter at the age of 13

James Earl Carter was born at Lillian Carter Health and Rehabilitation (past is Wise Sanitarium) in Plains, Georgia on October 1, 1924. His parents are Lillian Gordy Carter and James Earl Carter, Sr. He is the eldest of four children. Carter's father was a business owner in the community. His mother was a registered nurse. Carter was the first President of the United States to be born in a hospital.[4]

Carter has Scots-Irish and English ancestry. One of his paternal ancestors arrived in the American Colonies in 1635.[5][6] His family has lived in the state of Georgia for several generations. Ancestors of Carter fought in the American Revolution. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.[7] Carter's great-grandfather, Private L.B. Walker Carter (1832–1874), served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.[8]

Carter had three younger siblings: sisters Gloria (1926–1990) and Ruth (1929–1983), and brother "Billy" (1937-1988). During Carter's presidency, Billy was often in the news, usually for something absurd.[9]

His half-second cousin is Berry Gordy through his mother Lillian Gordy.[10] He is a cousin of June Carter Cash.[10]

Carter was a gifted student from an early age. He always love to read. As a youngster, he was a star in basketball. In high school, he was in the Future Farmers of America. Carter was the Plains FFA Chapter Secretary.[11]


After high school, Carter enrolled at Georgia Southwestern College, in Americus.[12] Later, he applied to the United States Naval Academy. He took extra mathematics courses at Georgia Tech. He was admitted to the Academy in 1943.[13] Carter graduated 59th out of 820 midshipmen at the Naval Academy. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree.[14]

Marriage and familyEdit

He married Rosalynn Smith in 1946.[15] They have four children: Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy.[16]


Carter served on ships and on submarines in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He was a junior officer when he completed qualification for command of a submarine. He applied for the US Navy's nuclear submarine program run by Captain Hyman G. Rickover. Rickover's demands on his men and machines were well known. Carter later said that, next to his parents, Rickover had the greatest influence on him.[17]

He had planned to make it his service to the Navy as his career. His ultimate goal was to become Chief of Naval Operations. Carter felt the best route for promotion was with submarine duty. He felt that nuclear power would be used more and more in submarines. Carter was based in Schenectady, New York. There he worked on developing training materials for the nuclear propulsion system for the prototype of a new submarine.[18]

His father James Earl Carter, Sr., died in July 1953. Lieutenant Carter was needed to run the family business.[16] He resigned his commission,[16] and was discharged from the Navy on October 9, 1953.[19]

As Governor of GeorgiaEdit

Carter was sworn in as the 76th Governor of Georgia on January 12, 1971. He held this job for one term, until January 14, 1975. At the time, governors of Georgia were not allowed to succeed themselves. His predecessor as governor, Lester Maddox, became the Lieutenant Governor. Carter and Maddox found little common ground during their four years of service. They often publicly disagreed with each other.[20][21] In Georgia, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor were not elected as a team.

1976 electionEdit

1976 election results map

When Carter's name was on the ballot in the Democratic Party primaries in 1976, he was considered to have little chance against nationally well known politicians.[22] His name recognition was about two percent.[22]

As late as January 26, 1976, Carter was the first choice of only four percent of Democratic voters, according to a Gallup poll.[23] He chose United States Senator from Minnesota Walter Mondale as his running mate.[24] Carter is the only interviewee of Playboy to become US president.[25] He beat Republican Gerald Ford. He received 297 electoral votes.[26] Carter became the first person from the Deep South since Zachary Taylor was elected in 1848 to win the presidency.


Carter tried to help with the problem between Israel and Palestine. He also tried to reach an agreement with the USSR about nuclear weapons. This did not work because he was not prepared to compromise.

He did help Egypt and Israel sign the peace treaty. They have not gone to war since. He was followed as President by Ronald Reagan. Carter often visits foreign countries as an independent observer of elections.[27][28]

While Carter was President, a group of Iranian college students belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line, who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Iran. He tried to save them, but the rescue military people were killed when United States Armed Forces helicopter crashed in April 1980. They kept Americans in the embassy as hostages. The hostages were not released until the last day Carter was president.[2] They were held for 444 days.[2]

Carter also had to deal with many problems in the United States. During his presidency, the nation had an energy and economic crisis. He suggested that the country use less resources like water and electricity in order to protect the environment.

In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Panama Canal Treaties and returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.[29]

There was a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics that took place in Moscow, USSR. This was in protest of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan during the time.[30]


Carter in 1991 in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library dedication with former presidents Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush (center)
Carter in the Oval Office at the White House on January 7, 2009 with former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama, and President George W. Bush
Carter in the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential library in 2011

Carter was beaten by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. When his presidency was over, Carter worked with groups such as Habitat for Humanity to build houses in poor areas. He also has worked for peace in the Middle East. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.[31] He has written many books.

On September 8, 2012, Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover as the longest retirement of any president after leaving office.[32]

His grandson, Jason Carter became a member of the Georgia State Senate in 2010[33] and ran for Governor of Georgia in 2014.

In 2017, Carter said that, in the 2016 Democratic primary for President, he had voted for Senator Bernie Sanders.[34] In the general election, he voted for Hillary Clinton.[35]

On January 20, 2017, at age 92, Carter became the oldest president to attend a presidential inauguration.[36] In January 2019, he hoped Cory Booker run for president.[37][38][39][40][41]

Cancer diagnosisEdit

On August 12, 2015, Carter announced he had cancer originating in the liver. He had undergone treatment and elective surgery earlier in the month at Emory Healthcare in Georgia to remove what was described as "a small mass." His spokeswoman originally stated that the prognosis for recovery from the surgery was "excellent".[42] However, Carter subsequently disclosed that he has liver cancer which has spread to other areas of his body.[43] On August 20, he disclosed that melanoma had been found in his brain and liver, and that he had begun treatment with the immunotherapy drug Keytruda and was about to start radiation therapy. On December 6, 2015, it was announced that his cancer 'had gone'.[44]

Other websitesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Smith, Andrew F. (2002). Peanuts: the illustrious history of the goober pea. The food series. University of Illinois Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-252-02553-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Iran Hostage Crisis ends – History.com This Day in History – 1/20/1981". History.com. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  3. "Timeline and History of The Carter Center". The Carter Center. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  4. Jimmy Carter is born at History.com
  5. "The Nation: Magnus Carter: Jimmy's Roots". Time. August 22, 1977. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  6. "Carter, who referred to his own Scotch-Irish background ..."
  7. "The California Compatriot" (PDF). California Society SAR. Spring 2007. p. 23. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  8. Morris, Kenneth Earl (1996). Jimmy Carter, American Moralist. University of Georgia Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8203-1862-2.
  9. Robert D. Hershey Jr (September 26, 1988). "Billy Carter Dies of Cancer at 51; Troubled Brother of a President". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cash, John R. with Patrick Carr. (1997) Johnny Cash, the Autobiography. Harper Collins
  11. "National FFA Organization: Prominent Former Members" (PDF). National FFA Organization.
  12. Morris, Kenneth Earl (1996). Jimmy Carter, American Moralist. University of Georgia Press. pp. 91–95. ISBN 978-0-8203-1862-2.
  13. Morris, Kenneth Earl (1996). Jimmy Carter, American Moralist. University of Georgia Press. pp. 92–95. ISBN 978-0-8203-1862-2.
  14. DeGregorio, William A. (2005). The Complete Book of US Presidents. 1. Fort Lee: Barricade Books.
  15. Morris, Kenneth Earl (1996). Jimmy Carter, American Moralist. University of Georgia Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8203-1862-2.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Jimmy Carter (b. 1924)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. August 22, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  17. "Admiral Hyman Rickover - My Father Remembered". Rickover.com. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  18. Paul Post, Soldiers of Saratoga County: From Concord to Kabul (2010) p 105
  19. "Timeline: Jimmy Carter". PBS. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  20. Peter Applebome (January 14, 1990). "In Georgia Reprise, Maddox on Stump". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  21. Race Matters – Lester Maddox, Segregationist and Georgia Governor, Dies at 87.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Brinkley, Alan; Dyer, Davis (2004). The American Presidency. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-618-38273-6.
  23. Shoup (1980), The Carter Presidency and Beyond'
  24. Morris, Kenneth Earl (1996). Jimmy Carter, American Moralist. University of Georgia Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-8203-1862-2.
  25. Casser-Jayne, Halli. A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows. Halli Casser-Jayne. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-9765960-3-5.
  26. Morris, Kenneth Earl (1996). Jimmy Carter, American Moralist. University of Georgia Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-8203-1862-2.
  27. The Carter Center: Waging Peace Through Elections. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  28. Jose De Cordoba, and David Luhnow, "Venezuelans Rush to Vote on Chávez: Polarized Nation Decides Whether to Recall President After Years of Political Rifts", The Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition), New York City, August 16, 2004, p. A11.
  29. "President Jimmy Carter Signed the Panama Canal Treaty". Library of Congress. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  30. Smothers, Ronald (July 19, 1996). "Olympics: Bitterness Lingering Over Carter's Boycott". The New York Times.
  31. Norwegian Nobel Committee, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize announcement,[1], October 11, 2002. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  32. Dillon, John (September 9, 2012). "The Record-Setting Ex-Presidency of Jimmy Carter". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  33. Hulse, Carl (May 11, 2010). "Veteran House Democrat Loses Seat in Primary". The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  34. "Jimmy Carter Reveals He Voted for Bernie Sanders In Democratic Primary". The Daily Beast. May 8, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  35. Sommerfeldt, Chris (August 23, 2016). "Jimmy Carter will vote for Hillary Clinton but calls both her and Donald Trump 'quite unpopular'". New York Daily News. New York City. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  36. Reilly, Katie (January 20, 2017). "How Jimmy Carter Beat Cancer and Became the Oldest President to Attend an Inauguration". Time. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  37. Anapol, Avery. "Jimmy Carter tells Booker: 'I hope you run for president'". thehill. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  38. Starostinetskaya, Anna. "Jimmy Carter Backs Vegan Senator Cory Booker for President in 2020". vegnews. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  39. Muñoz, Gabriella (January 21, 2019). "Jimmy Carter wants Cory Booker to run in 2020". The Associated Press. The Washington Times. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  40. Siders, David. "Democrats find a foil for Trump in Jimmy Carter". Politico. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  41. Haney, Adrianne. "Jimmy Carter to Cory Booker: 'I hope you run for president'". Alive. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  42. "Former President Jimmy Carter reveals he has cancer". CNBC. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  43. Former President Jimmy Carter Says He Has Cancer - The New York Times
  44. "Jimmy Carter says his cancer is gone". BBC News.