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 Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 14, 1963 – January 10, 1967
Preceded byConstituency 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)
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
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service
  • 1943–53 (Navy)
  • 1953–61 (Navy Reserve)
RankUS Navy O3 infobox.svg Lieutenant
Military awards

James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981.[1][2] A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State Senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.

Raised in a wealthy family of peanut farmers in the southern town of Plains in 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. Despite his father's wealth, 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 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.

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 by ending détente, imposing a grain embargo against the Soviets, enunciating the Carter doctrine, and leading an international boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. In 1980, Carter faced a primary challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy, but he won re-nomination at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Carter lost the general election in an electoral landslide to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan. Polls of historians and political scientists usually rank Carter as an average president, often receiving more positive evaluations for his post-presidential work.

In 2012, Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover as the longest-retired president in U.S. history and in 2017 became the first president to mark the 40th anniversary of his inauguration. He is currently the oldest and earliest serving of all living U.S. presidents. He established the Carter Center in 1982 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 memoirs and politics to poetry and inspiration. He has criticized some of Israel's actions and policies in regards to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and has advocated for a two-state solution.

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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[3] 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.[3]


Carter attended the Plains High School from 1937 to 1941. By that time, the Great Depression had impoverished Archery and Plains, 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.[5] 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.[5]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Jimmy Carter
Alemannisch: Jimmy Carter
አማርኛ: ጂሚ ካርተር
العربية: جيمي كارتر
aragonés: Jimmy Carter
arpetan: Jimmy Carter
asturianu: 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
euskara: Jimmy Carter
français: Jimmy Carter
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한국어: 지미 카터
հայերեն: Ջիմի Քարթեր
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hrvatski: Jimmy Carter
Ilokano: Jimmy Carter
Bahasa Indonesia: Jimmy Carter
interlingua: Jimmy Carter
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italiano: Jimmy Carter
עברית: ג'ימי קרטר
Basa Jawa: Jimmy Carter
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Kinyarwanda: Jimmy Carter
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kurdî: Jimmy Carter
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lietuvių: Jimmy Carter
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Lingua Franca Nova: James Earl Carter
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magyar: Jimmy Carter
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