Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Nasarawa North, Nigeria Feb. 15, 2007 Photo Credit: Emily Staub/The Carter Center
James Earl Carter, Jr., the 39th President of the United States, was born on October 1, 1924 in the tiny town of Plains, Georgia. His father, James, Sr., was a farmer and businessman, and his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, was a registered nurse.
Jimmy 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. On July 7th of that year, he married his childhood sweetheart, 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 located in Plains.
He soon became a leader of the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority, and the library. In 1962 he entered politics, winning election to the Georgia Senate, before becoming Georgia's 76th governor on January 12, 1971.
Jimmy Carter was inaugurated President of the United States on January 20, 1977. 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.
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. While in office, he also championed human rights throughout the world.
President Jimmy Carter shares great insight during his 2011 Commencement
Address for Georgia State University's graduating class.
In 1982, he became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded The Carter Center to engage in conflict mediation all over the world. In addition, the Center has monitored 83 elections in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
The permanent facilities of The Carter Presidential Center include the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, administered by the National Archives. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains, administered by the National Park Service, is open to visitors, too.
Jimmy and Rosalynn volunteer for Habitat for Humanity annually, helping needy people renovate and build homes. And on the Sabbath, they teach Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains.
For relaxation, President Carter enjoys fly-fishing, woodworking and swimming. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons, three granddaughters, two great-grandsons, and four great-granddaughters.
In 2002, President Carter was awarded 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." The author of 25 books, here, he talks about his latest, NIV Lessons from Life Bible.
from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter
Click to order via Amazon
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Hardcover: 1536 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Special edition (February 27, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.7 inches
The NIV Lessons from Life Bible takes Mr. Carter's years of teaching Sunday school lessons at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, GA, and meshes them with the text of the NIV Bible. Through 'In Focus' articles, 'Bible in Life' notes, in-depth studies and insightful observations and reflections, President Carter's teachings in this Bible provide fresh insights for you to study and contemplate. Features:
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (December 13, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
In Through the Year with Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth President of the United States takes you on a unique journey into the heart of the Christian faith. Based on more than three decades of practical Bible teaching, these readings draw from the riches of God's Word and the compelling experiences of Mr. Carter's own life. Whether through fascinating glimpses into behind-the-scenes activity at the White House, or insightful remembrances of his career in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Carter never ceases to connect the wisdom of Scripture with your own crucial place on the stage of life. Frank, honest, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and always relevant, Through the Year with Jimmy Carter challenges readers to be more Christ-like every day of their lives.
White House Diary by President Jimmy Carter
Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (September 20, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 2 inches
The edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter—filled with insights
into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting
impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world
Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than five thousand pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public—until now.
By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency. Day by day, we see his forceful advocacy for nuclear containment, sustainable energy, human rights, and peace in the Middle East. We witness his interactions with such complex personalities as Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Joe Biden, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. We get the inside story of his so-called “malaise speech,” his bruising battle for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and the Iranian hostage crisis. Remarkably, we also get Carter’s retrospective comments on these topics and more: thirty years after the fact, he has annotated the diary with his candid reflections on the people and events that shaped his presidency, and on the many lessons learned.
Carter is now widely seen as one of the truly wise men of our time. Offering an unprecedented look at both the man and his tenure, this fascinating book will stand as a unique contribution to the history of the American presidency.
Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building
Click to order via Amazon
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 14, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
This is the story of President Jimmy Carter's post-presidency, the most admired and productive in the nation's history. Through The Carter Center, which he and Rosalynn Carter founded in 1982, he has fought neglected diseases, waged peace in war zones, and built hope among some of the most forgotten and needy people in the world.
Serving in more than seventy nations, Carter has led peacekeeping efforts for Ethiopia, North Korea, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uganda, and Sudan. With his colleagues from The Carter Center, he has monitored more than sixty-five elections in troubled nations, from Palestine to Indonesia.
Carter's bold initiatives, undertaken with dedicated colleagues, have eliminated, prevented, or cured an array of diseases that have been characterized as "neglected" by the World Health Organization and that afflict tens of millions of people unnecessarily. The Carter Center has taught millions of African families how to increase the production of food grains, and Rosalynn Carter has led a vigorous war against the stigma of mental illness around the world.
"Immersing ourselves among these deprived and suffering people has been a great blessing as it stretched our minds and hearts," Jimmy Carter writes. "The principles of The Carter Center have been the same ones that should characterize our nation, or any individual. They are the beliefs inherent in all the great world religions, including commitments to peace, justice, freedom, humility, forgiveness or an attempt to find accommodation with potential foes, generosity, human rights or fair treatment of others, protection of the environment, and the alleviation of suffering. This is our agenda for the future."