President Jimmy Carter

Denomination: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF)
Organization: The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA

Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.), thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born Oct. 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Ga., and grew up in the nearby community of Archery. His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.

He was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Chosen by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program, he was assigned to Schenectady, N.Y., where he took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics, and served as senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.

On July 7, 1946, he married Rosalynn Smith of Plains. When his father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and returned with his family to Georgia. He took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter's Warehouse, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company in Plains. He quickly became a leader of the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority, and the library. In 1962 he won election to the Georgia Senate. He lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, but won the next election, becoming Georgia's seventy-sixth governor on Jan. 12, 1971. He was the Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional and gubernatorial elections.

President Jimmy Carter

On Dec. 12, 1974, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States. He won his party's nomination on the first ballot at the 1976 Democratic National Convention, and was elected president on Nov. 2, 1976.

Jimmy Carter served as president from Jan. 20, 1977, to Jan. 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world. On the domestic side, the administration's achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy; deregulation in energy, transportation, communications, and finance; major educational programs under a new Department of Education; and major environmental protection legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

Books & Accomplishments

Mr. Carter is the author of 24 books, many of which are now in revised editions: "Why Not the Best?" 1975, 1996; "A Government as Good as Its People," 1977, 1996; "Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President," 1982, 1995; "Negotiation: The Alternative to Hostility," 1984, 2003; "The Blood of Abraham," 1985, 1993, 2007; "Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life," written with Rosalynn Carter, 1987, 1995; "An Outdoor Journal," 1988, 1994; "Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age," 1992; "Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation," 1993, 1995; "Always a Reckoning," 1995; "The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer," illustrated by Amy Carter, 1995; "Living Faith," 1996; "Sources of Strength: Meditations on Scripture for a Living Faith," 1997; "The Virtues of Aging," 1998; "An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood," 2001; "Christmas in Plains: Memories," 2001; "The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture," 2002; "The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War," 2003; "Sharing Good Times," 2004; "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," 2005; "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid," 2006; "Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope," 2007; A Remarkable Mother," 2008; and "We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work," 2009.

The Carter Center

In 1982, he became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and founded The Carter Center. Actively guided by President Carter, the nonpartisan and nonprofit Center addresses national and international issues of public policy. Carter Center fellows, associates, and staff join with President Carter in efforts to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease and other afflictions. Through the Global 2000 programs, the Center advances health and agriculture in the developing world. It has spearheaded the international effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, which will be the second disease in history to be eliminated.

President Carter and The Carter Center have engaged in conflict mediation in Ethiopia and Eritrea (1989), North Korea (1994), Liberia (1994), Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1994), Sudan (1995), the Great Lakes region of Africa (1995-96), Sudan and Uganda (1999), Venezuela (2002-2003), Nepal (2004-2008), and Ecuador and Colombia (2008). Under his leadership, The Carter Center has sent 76 election-monitoring missions to the Americas, Africa, and Asia. These include Panama (1989), Nicaragua (1990), Guyana (1992), China (1997), Nigeria (1998), Indonesia (1999), East Timor (1999), Mexico (2000), Guatemala (2003), Venezuela (2004), Ethiopia (2005), Liberia (2005), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2006), Nepal (2008), and Lebanon (2009).

The permanent facilities of The Carter Presidential Center were dedicated in October 1986, and include the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, administered by the National Archives. Also open to visitors is the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, administered by the National Park Service.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He also teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains. For recreation, he enjoys fly-fishing, woodworking, cycling, tennis, and skiing. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, eight grandsons, three granddaughters, and two great-grandsons.

On Dec. 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Mr. Carter "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."


Day1 Weekly Programs by President Jimmy Carter

View All Day1 Weekly Programs...

A Joyful Resolve: Transforming the Lives of the World's Poorest

Tuesday September 07, 2010
In this special capstone to the "Faith & Global Hunger" Series, the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, offers a biblical and optimistic look at current efforts to follow God's call to serve the world's poorest through the Millennium Development Goals.

Articles by President Jimmy Carter

View All Day1 Articles...

David Crumm: Jimmy Carter on How the Bible Shapes Peacemakers

Tuesday March 20, 2012
The Bible is full of violence from bloody battles in the opening books of the Bible through Jesus’ own death at the hands of the Roman empire, yet former President Jimmy Carter opens this book and finds great insight shaping his own worldwide work as a peacemaker. In the third and final part of our interview with Carter, David Crumm asks about these connections Carter sees in scripture.

David Crumm: Jimmy Carter on How the Bible Inspire Caregivers

Sunday March 18, 2012
Jimmy Carter’s publication of his own Bible study reflections and prayers is a treasure trove of inspiration and wisdom about the challenges we face in the world today. One theme that runs through Carter’s writing is: caregiving. In Part 2 of our interview with the former president, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm asks about caregiving.

David Crumm: Jimmy Carter on How the Bible Can Help Us Find Peace

Thursday March 15, 2012
President Jimmy Carter is releasing a new devotional edition of the Bible packed with hundreds of excerpts from his own writings about inspiring and challenging passages of scripture. David Crumm interviewed the former president last week--here is part one of their conversation.

Paul Raushenbush Interviews President Jimmy Carter

Sunday January 15, 2012
In this wide-ranging interview, HuffPost's Senior Religion Editor spoke to President Carter by phone about the role faith played in the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, the time of his greatest alienation from God, faith in the White House and his personal daily devotional practice.

President Jimmy Carter to Address Faith and Global Hunger on Day1

Monday June 14, 2010
President Jimmy Carter will provide the capstone address for “Faith and Global Hunger: A Special Day1 Series in Support of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.” The series also includes addresses by four prominent faith and policy leaders. Together, the speakers emphasize Christ’s insistence on justice for the least amongst us, and describe the power of the MDG program to transform the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.

Video by President Jimmy Carter

View All Day1 Video...

President Jimmy Carter - A Conversation on Faith and Global Hunger

Wednesday September 22, 2010
President Jimmy Carter joins Day1 host Peter Wallace for a discussion of hunger and poverty in todays world, how our public servants work to alleviate that hunger and need, and what you can do to inspire your political leaders to take action. This interview is part of the Day1 series on Faith and Global Hunger.

A Joyful Resolve: Transforming the Lives of the World's Poorest - President Jimmy Carter

Thursday September 09, 2010
President Jimmy Carter gives his address to top off the Faith and Global Hunger series. A dedicated man of faith, the President from Plains, Georgia gives a heartwarming and inspirational message on the importance of feeding the worlds impoverished populations.