ATLANTA — Jimmy Carter, the nation's 39th president, celebrates a special milestone today in marking his 97th birthday.
Carter was born Oct. 1, 1924 in Plains, Ga., where he was raised, met his wife of 75 years, Rosalynn, and eventually launched his political career with a Georgia Senate run in 1962.
It has been a big year for Carter, who in 2020 scaled back much of his public life due to the pandemic - he returned to church after getting vaccinated in February, met with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden at his home in April, and he and Rosalynn celebrated their 75th anniversary with a party at their home in July.
Back in 2019, Carter became the nation's oldest living president.
You can President Carter a happy 97th birthday by signing his digital birthday card and sharing a photo here.
Carter was born in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia and grew up in the neighboring community of Archery. His father, James Earl Carter Sr. was a farmer and businessman. His mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, was a registered nurse, according to the Jimmy Carter Library.
Carter attended public school in Plains and later attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
He was elected to the Georgia Senate and lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, but won the next election and became Georgia’s 76th governor in 1971. On Dec. 12, 1974, he announced his candidacy for president. He won the Democratic nomination and was elected president on Nov. 2, 1976.
As president, Carter served from Jan. 20, 1977 to Jan. 20, 1981. He campaigned for human rights around the world and made significant foreign policy accomplishments, including the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
In 1982, he became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta and founded The Carter Center. The nonpartisan, non-profit center addresses national and international issues of public policy.
Before the pandemic, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter long volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and for many years Jimmy taught Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains.
On Dec. 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded Carter the Nobel Peace Prize 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.”