Jimmy Carter, America’s Oldest Living President and “The Man From Plains,” Turns 97


Jimmy Carter, the longest-serving former president in U.S. history, celebrates his 97th birthday on Friday.

Carter overtook former President George HW Bush as the oldest former President in March 2019. Bush was born less than four months before Carter and had been the oldest former President at the time of his death in November 2018 at 94 years old.

Several weeks before Carter’s birthday, his wife Rosalynn sent a message through the Carter Center encouraging Americans to sign a virtual birthday card for her husband.

“On his birthday, there is nothing that would make Jimmy happier than receiving greetings from his friends,” the former first lady’s post said. “Throughout his life, Jimmy has fought tirelessly for the rights of others. Even after 75 years of marriage, I am still in awe of his energy and commitment to helping those in need.

“Please take a moment to sign the birthday wall and let her know you share her dreams of peace,” her post continued. “Thank you for making her day so special! “

Former US President Jimmy Carter celebrates his 97th birthday on October 1. Above, Carter smiles during a book signing at Barnes & Noble in midtown Manhattan on March 26, 2018.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Carter Center website has a link that directs visitors to a virtual birthday card, where individuals can post personalized messages for the former president. Some who shared their birthday wishes have included photos they took alongside Carter at some point in the past; others shared recent photos of themselves or historical photos of the Carter’s.

Rosalynn Carter, the oldest surviving former first lady, celebrated her 94th birthday in August. The Carter’s also celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary during the summer.

Forty years have passed since Carter, the country’s 39th president, left the White House in 1981 after his failed second-term bid in the 1980 presidential election. Shortly after leaving their office. In office, the Carter’s founded The Carter Center, a nonprofit human rights organization that advocates for peace and democracy around the world. In addition to his work with the center, Carter continued to speak out on political issues in the United States and abroad.

Carter was born in Plains, Georgia on October 1, 1924, as the son of a farmer and a registered nurse. He spent time in the United States Navy before launching his political career and joining the Georgia State Senate as an elected representative in the early 1960s. Carter became the 76th governor of his state before running for office. to the presidency in 1976.

A documentary titled Man of the Plains came out in 2007 with a focus on a promotional tour Carter took for his book Peace in Palestine, not apartheid. Additional documentary-style films including Jimmy Carter: President Rock & Roll and Carterland, both of which were published earlier this year, took a look at the life and legacy of the former president, with another biographical study published in comic book form earlier this week.

News week contacted The Carter Center for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.


Kevin E. Boling

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