Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter Headshot

Politician

Birth Date: October 1, 1924

Age: 99 years old

Birth Place: Plains, Georgia

Spouses: Rosalynn Carter

Grandchildren: Hugo Wentzel

Born Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Ga., to a successful local businessman and his wife, James Earl "Jimmy" Carter is a globally respected statesman and former U.S. president. After coursework at Georgia Southwestern College and Georgia Tech, he realized his dream of attending the U.S. Naval Academy. While there, he fell in love with his sister's friend, Rosalynn Smith, whom he married after graduation in 1946. He was commissioned as an ensign and in 1952 was assigned to work on the nuclear submarine program under then-Capt. Hyman G. Rickover. The death of Carter's father in 1953 put an end to the young officer's military career, however, and he sought an honorable discharge to go home and tend the family's peanut farm.

Back in Georgia, he was a prominent member of his community and the Baptist Church, as well as a member of the Sumter County School Board, where he began to speak out in favor of school integration. When a seat on the Georgia Senate opened up in 1962, Carter made a run for the office. Though voter fraud led to a new election, Carter was victorious in the second contest, and began his political career. He was re-elected in 1964; then decided to run for governor in 1966. Though he lost that race, another bid in 1970 was successful, and Carter took office in 1971, declaring in his inaugural speech that "The time of racial segregation is over."

He had a somewhat contentious relationship with the state legislature, given his reluctance to deal in political favors. He focused on expanding the authority of the governor while reducing the complexity of state government, and championing civil rights. He also pushed reforms for school funding equality and established community centers for mentally handicapped children, also increasing educational opportunities for convicted prisoners. He increased the number of black state employees, judges and board members, but while he worked in Georgia, he began to eye a national office. He even appeared on the game show "What's My Line," where none of the panelists recognized him, and it took several rounds before one of them correctly guessed his occupation.

He was considered something of a long shot when he entered the Democratic primaries in 1976, but he was ahead of the pack only a couple of months into the process. He won the nomination, and selected Sen. Walter Mondale as his running mate. He narrowly defeated incumbent President Gerald Ford, but his term of office was fraught with tension, inflation and recession - he declared unconditional amnesty for draft evaders from the Vietnam era, and bailed out the Chrysler Corporation. The Iran hostage crisis cast a pall over his administration, as did the energy crisis (he famously added sweaters to his wardrobe and turned down thermostats in the White House). Though he beat Sen. Ted Kennedy for the Democratic nomination in 1980, he ultimately lost his bid for re-election to Republican Ronald Reagan.

Some would say that Carter had a much more successful post-presidency -- in 1982 he established the Carter Center in Atlanta, intended to advance human rights and alleviate suffering. That organization worked to eradicate disease and has monitored elections in more than 30 countries since 1989. In 1994 he secretly worked for then-President Bill Clinton, negotiating with North Korea to try and end that country's nuclear program. And in 2002 he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in national and international conflict resolution. He made several trips to the Middle East, trying to broker a peace between the warring countries. He also worked to stem violence in Africa. Additionally, he has written 23 books (21 written after his presidency), and has been a high-profile volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. In August 2015 he was diagnosed with cancer, but by December of that year he announced that all signs of cancer were gone.

Credits

Miss Lillian: More Than a President's Mother

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2021

Carterland

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2021

President in Waiting

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2020

Presidential Debates: 1976 Presidential Debate -- Jimmy Carter v. Gerald Ford

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2020

Presidential Debates: 1976 Presidential Debate -- Jimmy Carter & President Ford

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2020

Presidential Debates: 1980 Presidential Debate -- Jimmy Carter & Ronald Reagan

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2020

Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll PresidentStream

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2020
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Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll PresidentStream

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2020
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Desert OneStream

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2019
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Free To Rock: How Rock and Roll Brought Down The Wall

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Himself
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2017

Free to Rock

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2017

We Are One

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2017

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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Talk
2015

StarTalkStream

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Docuseries
2015

Circle of Poison

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2015

CBS This Morning

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2012

Last Call

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Himself (archive footage)
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2012

Quebrando o Tabu

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2011

Capitalism: A Love Story

Self
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2009

Joe Louis: America's Hero ... Betrayed

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Show
2008

The Colbert Report

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Talk
2005

The Last Mogul

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Movie
2005

Tavis Smiley

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Talk
2004

Real Time With Bill MaherStream

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Talk
2003

Decision '80

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Show
2003

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

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Talk
1999

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

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Talk
1999

Late Show With David Letterman

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Talk
1993

Bob Hope: The First 90 Years

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Show
1993

Charlie RoseStream

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Talk
1991

Baryshnikov at the White House

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1979

CBS News Sunday MorningStream

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News
1979

Good Morning America

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News
1975

The Merv Griffin Show

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Talk
1965

What's My Line?Stream

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Game Show
1950

News aboutJimmy Carter