Jimmy Carter served as the 39th President of the United States (1977 to 1981).
James Earl Carter, Jr., was born on October 1, 1924, in 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.
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, New York, where he did graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics while serving as senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf.
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.
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.
In 2002 Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center.