- Also Known As:
- President Carter
- Date of Birth:
- October 1, 1924
- 5' 9"
Jimmy Carter, born James Earl Carter Jr, was the eldeset son of James Earl Carter Sr. and Bessie Lillian Gordy. He grew up in rural Georgia, and though his father was a staunch segregationist, Jimmy made friends with many of his African-American neighbors. He attended the Naval Academy after graduating high school and eventually rose to the rank of first lieutenant. He was honorably discharged in 1953. His political career began when he was elected to the Georgia State House in 1962. After serving four years in the state house he ran for governor in 1966, but lost and the costs of the campaign left him deeply in debt. He ran for governor again in 1970 and this time won decisively. Civil rights were always an important issue to him and as governor he brought many more African-Americans into the state government to serve as judges, board members and other important positions. In 1976 he decided to run for president, and though he was considered an underdog in the Democratic primary, he eventually won the primary and went on to defeat the incumbent Republican president Gerald Ford becoming the 39th President of the United States. His presidency was beset by problems including inflation, an energy crisis and the taking of American diplomats as hostages by Iranian revolutionaries, as well as a failed attempt to rescue the hostages by American special forces. He had significant success with the completion of the Camp David Accords, which established a lasting peace between historical enemies Egypt and Israel. His popularity sagged and he lost the 1981 presidential election in a landslide to Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. He has led an active post-presidential life including being an advocate for Habitat for Humanity. He has also worked tirelessly for health and human rights issues through his foundation, the Carter Center, and had significant success in eliminating the Guinea worm disease almost entirely by 2013. In 2002 he won the Noble Peace Prize for his work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development” through The Carter Center. In 2015 he revealed that liver surgery had shown that cancer had spread through his body.
Best Known For:
Being the 39th President of the United States. Winning the Noble Peace Prize in 2002.
Jimmy married Rosalynn Carter (Smith) in 1946. Together they have three sons, one daughter, eleven grandchildren and two great-grandsons. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in July 2011.