Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for work to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development. Born James Earl Carter, Jr. in 1924, in Plains, Georgia, Carter’s upbringing included peanut farming, talk of politics, and devotion to the Baptist faith. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1946, Carter married Rosalynn Smith. The Carters have three sons, John William (Jack), James Earl III (Chip), Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff), and a daughter, Amy Lynn. In 1962, he entered state politics, and eight years later elected Governor of Georgia. With Senator Walter F. Mondale as his Vice President, Carter’s administration worked hard to combat the continuing economic woes of inflation and unemployment. Domestic affairs included establishing a national energy policy, expanding the national park system, creating the Department of Education, bolstering the Social Security system, and he appointed record numbers of women, Black and Hispanic people to government jobs. In foreign affairs, Carter championed human rights and focused on the Middle East. The Camp David agreement of 1978 helped bring amity between Egypt and Israel. The last 14 months of his administration were dominated by the seizure of hostages of the U.S. Embassy staff in Iran. The consequences of Iran’s holding Americans captive, together with continuing inflation at home, contributed to Carter’s defeat in 1980. Even then, he continued the difficult negotiations over the hostages. Iran finally released the 52 Americans the same day Carter left office.

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