Jimmy Carter: How much do you know about the former president?

Former President Jimmy Carter has entered home hospice care. The oldest-living former U.S. President has not only witnessed pivotal moments in U.S. history, he has also played a role in shaping that history.

You’re probably familiar with some of the most well-known facts about Carter’s life and political career, but how well do you know the only U.S. president born in Georgia? Here are some fast facts.

How old is Jimmy Carter?

Jimmy Carter is 98-years-old.

He’s not only the oldest-living U.S. president, but he’s also the longest-living of the United States' 46 presidents. 

Where was Carter born?

Carter was born in Plains, Georgia, on Oct. 1, 1924.

His family were farmers where he grew up in nearby Archery. Plains still is a farming town, chiefly in producing peanuts. 

Carter’s military services took him away from Plains, but he returned years later to establish businesses there with his future wife, Rosalynn. 


What branch of the military did Jimmy Carter serve in?

Carter attended both Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, but he received a bachelor’s of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.

Carter served on submarines in the Pacific and the Atlantic. Carter studied reactor technology and nuclear physics after he was appointed to the navy’s nuclear submarine program. 


Jimmy(James Earl) Carter as Ensign, USN, circa World War II. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

When was Jimmy Carter elected Georgia’s governor?

Carter became Georgia's 76th governor on January 12, 1971. 

His victory was after he launched a losing campaign in 1966.

Carter’s career in state politics began as a Georgia Senator. He won a seat during the 1962 election.

Who was Jimmy Carter’s opponent in the 1976 presidential election?

Carter was up against incumbent Gerald R. Ford, who inherited the presidency after Richard M. Nixon resigned in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.

Carter set his sights on the presidency in 1974. He had served as Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional and gubernatorial elections and announced his campaign that year. Carter won the Democratic party’s nomination at the 1976 Democratic National Convention and was elected that November. 

He won the presidential election by sweeping most of the Southeast and tallying 297 electoral votes. 

A slogan on one campaign button leaned into the peanut farmer’s past: "I’m nuts about Jimmy Carter for bicentennial president."


Who was Jimmy Carter’s vice president?

Walter Mondale served as Carter’s vice president. He was famously the first Vice President to have a White House office.

Mondale spent years in Minnesota politics and later launched a presidential campaign. 

Mondale died at the age of 93

 in April. He crafted a letter that was sent to his team upon his death. 

"Never has a public servant had a better group of people working at their side."

How many terms did Carter serve?

Carter famously served one term as U.S. President. 

His administration was plagued by rising energy costs, mounting inflation, and continuing tensions with foreign entities. 

Carter’s administration oversaw an increase of nearly 80 million jobs, but inflation and interest rates caused a short recession. It damaged his popularity. 


(Original Caption) 3/24/1979-Elk City, Oklahoma: President Jimmy Carter addressing a town meeting. American flag is hung in background.

Who was Carter’s opponent for re-election?

Carter’s re-election campaign lost to Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. Carter was the first elected presidential incumbent to lose re-election since Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.

Reagan won just over 50% of the popular vote, but his electoral college victory was less contested: 489 to 49.

Almost all the southern states that backed Carter in 1976 turned for Reagan in 1980. All except his home state of Georgia. 

How many years have Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter been married?

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter celebrated a milestone anniversary of 75 years. 

Carters' marriage is the longest for a presidential couple. 

The Carters were married in 1946. 

"Every day there needs to be reconciliation and communication between the two spouses," the former president said. "We don’t go to sleep with some remaining differences between us."

How many children do the Carters have?

The Carters have three sons, John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey, and a daughter, Amy Lynn.


(Original Caption) 11/3/1976-Atlanta, GA- Jimmy Carter using the southland as a base put together a coalition of big-city voters and blacks and defeated President Ford by getting 272 electoral votes.-- Photo depicts Carter with family and supporters

Jimmy Carter is the longest-living US president, who’s the second?

At 94-years-old and 171 days, George H.W. Bush is the second-longest living U.S. president. Bush died in 2018 and Carter became the longest-living U.S. president in March 2019. 

After that would be none other than the man Carter defeated in his first bid for president, Gerald R. Ford. Ford was 93 years 165 days old when he died on December 26, 2006.