Jimmy Carter

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
ConstituencySumter County
Personal details
James Earl Carter Jr.

(1924-10-01) October 1, 1924 (age 94)
Plains, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Rosalynn Smith (m. 1946)
  • Jack
  • James III (Chip)
  • Donnel (Jeff)
  • Amy
RelativesJames Earl Carter Sr. (father)
Lillian Gordy (mother)
ResidencePlains, Georgia, U.S.
EducationGeorgia Institute of Technology
United States Naval Academy (BS)
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

James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a Georgia State Senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. After his presidency, Carter has remained active in the private sector; in 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.

Raised in Plains, Georgia, Carter graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree and joined the United States Navy, where he served on submarines. After the death of his father in 1953, Carter left his naval career and returned home to Georgia to take up the reins of his family's peanut-growing business. Carter inherited comparatively little due to his father's forgiveness of debts and the division of the estate among the children. Nevertheless, his ambition to expand and grow the Carters' peanut business was fulfilled. During this period, Carter was motivated to oppose the political climate of racial segregation and support the growing civil rights movement. He became an activist within the Democratic Party. From 1963 to 1967, Carter served in the Georgia State Senate, and in 1970, he was elected as Governor of Georgia, defeating former Governor Carl Sanders in the Democratic primary on an anti-segregation platform advocating affirmative action for ethnic minorities. Carter remained as governor until 1975. Despite being a dark-horse candidate who was little known outside of Georgia at the start of the campaign, Carter won the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. In the general election, Carter ran as an outsider and narrowly defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. An evangelical Christian, Carter is credited with significantly moving the faith closer to the American mainstream; him advertising his devout Christian faith as a qualification on the campaign trail was unprecedented at the time and is seen as a significant event in the rise of the Christian right in America, even though they and Carter were political opponents.[1]

On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all the Vietnam War draft evaders. During Carter's term as president, two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, were established. He established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology. In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. On the economic front, he confronted persistent stagflation, a combination of high inflation, high unemployment and slow growth. The end of his presidential tenure was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In response to the invasion, Carter escalated the Cold War when he ended détente, imposed a grain embargo against the Soviets, enunciated the Carter Doctrine, and led an 1980 Summer Olympics boycott in Moscow. In 1980, Carter faced a challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy in the primaries, but he won re-nomination at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Carter lost the general election to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan in an electoral landslide. Polls of historians and political scientists usually rank Carter as an average president; he often receives more positive evaluations for his post-presidential work.

In 2012, Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover as the longest-retired president in U.S. history, in 2017 became the first president to live to the 40th anniversary of his inauguration and in 2019 became the longest-lived president; He is currently the oldest and earliest-serving of all living U.S. presidents. In 1982, he established the Carter Center to promote and expand human rights. He has traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, monitor elections, and advance disease prevention and eradication in developing nations. Carter is considered a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity charity. He has written over 30 books ranging from political memoirs to poetry while continuing to actively comment on ongoing American and global affairs, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Early life

Carter (around age 13) with his dog, Bozo, in 1937

James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924, at the Wise Sanitarium (now the Lillian G. Carter Nursing Center) in Plains, Georgia, a hospital where his mother was employed as a registered nurse. Carter was the first U.S. president to be born in a hospital.[2] He was the eldest son of Bessie Lillian (née Gordy) and James Earl Carter Sr. Carter is a descendant of English immigrant Thomas Carter, who settled in Virginia in 1635. Numerous generations of Carters lived as cotton farmers in Georgia. Carter is also a descendant of Thomas Cornell, an ancestor of Cornell University's founder, and is distantly related to Richard Nixon and Bill Gates.[3]

The Carter family store (part of Carter's Boyhood Farm) in Plains, Georgia

Plains was a boomtown of 600 people at the time of Carter's birth. Carter's father was a successful local businessman, who ran a general store, and was an investor in farmland. He previously served as a reserve second lieutenant in the U.S. Army's Quartermaster Corps during World War I.

The family moved several times during Carter Jr.'s infancy.[2] The Carters settled on a dirt road in nearby Archery, which was almost entirely populated by impoverished African American families. They eventually had three more children: Gloria, Ruth, and Billy. Carter got along well with his parents, although his mother worked long hours and was often absent in his childhood. Although Earl was staunchly pro-segregation, he allowed his son to befriend the black farmhands' children. Carter was an enterprising teenager who was given his own acre of Earl's farmland where he grew, packaged, and sold peanuts. He also rented out a section of tenant housing that he had purchased.[2]


Carter attended the Plains High School from 1937 to 1941. By that time, Archery and Plains had been impoverished by the Great Depression, but the family benefited from New Deal farming subsidies, and Earl took a position as a community leader. Young Jimmy was a diligent student with a fondness for reading. A popular anecdote holds that he was passed over for valedictorian after he and his friends skipped school to venture downtown in a hot rod. Carter's truancy was mentioned in a local newspaper, although it is not clear he would have been valedictorian anyway.[4] Carter's teacher, Julia Coleman, was an especially strong influence. As an adolescent, Carter played on the Plains High School basketball team; he also joined the Future Farmers of America and developed a lifelong interest in woodworking.[4]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Jimmy Carter
Alemannisch: Jimmy Carter
አማርኛ: ጂሚ ካርተር
العربية: جيمي كارتر
aragonés: Jimmy Carter
arpetan: Jimmy Carter
asturianu: Jimmy Carter
Aymar aru: Jimmy Carter
azərbaycanca: Cimmi Karter
تۆرکجه: جیمی کارتر
Bân-lâm-gú: Jimmy Carter
беларуская: Джэймс Эрл Картэр
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Джэймз Эрл Картэр
Bikol Central: Jimmy Carter
Bislama: Jimmy Carter
български: Джими Картър
Boarisch: Jimmy Carter
bosanski: Jimmy Carter
brezhoneg: Jimmy Carter
Cebuano: Jimmy Carter
čeština: Jimmy Carter
Cymraeg: Jimmy Carter
Deutsch: Jimmy Carter
ދިވެހިބަސް: ޖިމީ ކާރޓަރ
Ελληνικά: Τζίμι Κάρτερ
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Jimmy Carter
español: Jimmy Carter
Esperanto: Jimmy Carter
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français: Jimmy Carter
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한국어: 지미 카터
հայերեն: Ջիմի Քարթեր
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Ilokano: Jimmy Carter
Bahasa Indonesia: Jimmy Carter
interlingua: Jimmy Carter
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עברית: ג'ימי קרטר
Kapampangan: Jimmy Carter
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Lingua Franca Nova: James Earl Carter
lumbaart: Jimmy Carter
magyar: Jimmy Carter
македонски: Џими Картер
Malagasy: Jimmy Carter
მარგალური: ჯიმი კარტერი
مازِرونی: جیمی کارتر
Bahasa Melayu: Jimmy Carter
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Jimmy Carter
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဂျင်မီ ကာတာ
Nederlands: Jimmy Carter
नेपाल भाषा: जिम्मी कार्टर
norsk nynorsk: Jimmy Carter
occitan: Jimmy Carter
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Jimmy Carter
پنجابی: جمی کارٹر
Piemontèis: Jimmy Carter
Plattdüütsch: James Earl Carter
polski: Jimmy Carter
português: Jimmy Carter
Ripoarisch: Jimmy Carter
română: Jimmy Carter
rumantsch: Jimmy Carter
Runa Simi: Jimmy Carter
sicilianu: Jimmy Carter
Simple English: Jimmy Carter
slovenčina: Jimmy Carter
slovenščina: Jimmy Carter
српски / srpski: Џими Картер
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Jimmy Carter
svenska: Jimmy Carter
Tagalog: Jimmy Carter
татарча/tatarça: Джимми Картер
Türkçe: Jimmy Carter
українська: Джиммі Картер
Tiếng Việt: Jimmy Carter
Winaray: Jimmy Carter
Yorùbá: Jimmy Carter
粵語: 卡特
Zeêuws: Jimmy Carter
žemaitėška: Jimmy Carter