Jimmy Carter

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.

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 leaving office, Carter and his wife Rosalynn founded the Carter Center in 1982. 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.

Jimmy Carter with his dog Bozo 1937

Carter at the age of 13

James Earl Carter was born in the 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.

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.

Marriage and family

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


Carter smiling

Portrait of James E. Carter

Carter 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.

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

As Governor of Georgia

Jimmy Carter official portrait as Governor

President Jimmy Carter announces new sanctions against Iran in retaliation for taking U.S. hostages 1980

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.

1976 election

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. His name recognition was about two percent.

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


Rosalynn, Jimmy, and Amy Carter

At the White House, Jimmy Carter

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.

While Carter was President, some people took over the U.S. Embassy in Iran. They kept Americans in the embassy as hostages. The hostages were not released until the last day Carter was president. They were held for 444 days.

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

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.

After Being President

Four U.S. presidents in 2013

Carter (on the left) with other presidents (2013)

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. He has written many books.



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