Celebrate President Jimmy Carter’s 98 Years of Making the World a Better Place

Staff Report

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

To mark President Jimmy Carter’s 98th birthday on October 1, The Carter Center is engaging the public in a weeklong, virtual celebration of a life dedicated to service and making the world a better place.  

“As the longest-living president in U.S. history, President Jimmy Carter has had a remarkable life of service that deserves worldwide celebration,” said Paige Alexander, chief executive officer of The Carter Center. “Whether here in Georgia or in hard-to-reach regions around the world, millions of people have benefited from President Carter’s commitment to making the world a better place.” 

The Carter Center encourages people to commemorate President Carter’s 98th birthday by sending him a congratulatory message here: https://bit.ly/Happy98PresidentCarter

Over the coming days, The Carter Center will highlight selected stories that underscore the impact of President Carter’s work to alleviate suffering and advance health and democracy around the world. Here are just a few: 

-Georgia Roots: Seven years after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, President Carter gave up his promising Navy career to run the family's peanut warehouse business in Plains, Georgia. He and Rosalynn Carter still live in this town of fewer than 1,000 people today, and he is the only president in the modern era to return full time to the home he lived in before entering politics. President Carter has a simple answer whenever asked to recount the best or most significant decision he's ever made: "Asking Rosalynn to marry me."

-Life of Service: President Carter has dedicated his life to serving others, working as a farmer, Navy man, Georgia state senator and governor, and, until a few years ago, a Bible study teacher. While a U.S. Navy officer, Carter led a team that helped contain the world’s first nuclear reactor meltdown in Canada in 1952. Carter was lowered into the damaged reactor and exposed to 1,000 times the level of radiation considered safe by today’s standards. President Carter always deflected credit or praise, and the story was relatively unknown for many years.

-Post-Presidency Impact: In the longest post-presidency in American history, President Carter has forged relationships with government leaders and partners to create innovative programs to champion human rights, foster democracy, and improve global health. His impact on the world has been recognized by global institutions and heads of state. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. This fall, The Carter Center celebrates its founding in 1982 and 40 years of impact through its work. See a timeline of 40 key moments over the past four decades: https://bit.ly/40CarterCenter.

Jimmy Carter was the 39th president of the United States and prior to that the 76th governor of Georgia. As governor and as a state senator, Carter was known for his strong advocacy for human, environmental, and civil rights. 

As president, Carter is perhaps best known for his role in brokering peace between Israel and Egypt with the Camp David Accords in 1978. He also appointed more women and minorities to the federal judiciary than all his predecessors combined.   

A humble and modest man, Jimmy Carter never liked the pageantry of the presidency. While in the White House, he was known for his informality, including a fondness for cardigan sweaters, and insisting on carrying his own bags when traveling.  

During its 40-year history, the Carter Center’s accomplishments have ranged from leading a coalition that has nearly eradicated Guinea worm disease to monitoring elections and promoting democracy and human rights around the world.  

Since leaving the White House, President Carter has authored 30 books, the latest penned in 2018, “Faith: A Journey for All.” For many years, he regularly taught Sunday school classes at the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains and, up until 2020, along with Rosalynn, volunteered one week a year with Habitat for Humanity.

“On behalf of The Carter Center and his many passionate supporters from around the world, I want to wish President Carter a heartfelt and very happy 98th birthday,” said Alexander. “We are forever driven to live up to the ideals and example set by him and Mrs. Carter, and we thank them for their life of service.”