The Carter Center announced on Saturday that former President Jimmy Carter, the longest-living American president at 98 years old, has entered home hospice care in Plains, Georgia.
According to the statement, Carter “chosen to spend his remaining time at home with his family and accept hospice care instead of more medical intervention” following a string of brief hospital stints.
The 39th President is fully supported by his medical staff, according to the statement, and his family “asks for quiet at this time and is appreciative for the care exhibited by his many supporters.”
Prior to the 1976 election, Carter was a little-known Georgia governor who had just started his presidential campaign. After the Vietnam War and the Watergate incident, which resulted in the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974, he went on to defeat then-President Gerald R. Ford by capitalizing on his outsider status in Washington.
Carter had one turbulent time in office before being soundly defeated by Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980. This crushing defeat finally prepared the way for Carter’s decades-long promotion of democracy, public health, and human rights around the world through The Carter Center.
The facility was founded in 1982 by the former president and his 95-year-old wife, Rosalynn. In 2002, his efforts there won him the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jason Carter, the couple’s grandson and current board chair of The Carter Center, tweeted on Saturday that he had visited both of his grandparents. They are at ease, and their house is as always filled with affection.
Carter, who spent the majority of his life in Plains, traveled frequently into his 80s and early 90s, including annual trips to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and frequent trips abroad for the Carter Center’s election monitoring and effort to eradicate the Guinea worm parasite in developing nations. Carter, who has spent the majority of his life in Plains, was a lifelong resident of the United States. The former president’s health, however, has gotten worse over the course of his tenth decade of life, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic limited his public appearances, including at his beloved Maranatha Baptist Church where he taught Sunday School lessons for decades to standing-room only crowds of guests.
Carter underwent liver surgery to remove a tiny malignant tumor in August 2015. The following year, Carter declared that he was done with therapy since an experimental medication had wiped out all evidence of cancer.
With family and friends in Plains, the little town where he and Rosalynn were born in the years between World War I and the Great Depression, Carter celebrated his most recent birthday in October.
The Carter Center celebrated its 40th year of advocating for human rights last year.
Since 1989, the Center has been a leader in election observation, keeping an eye on at least 113 elections in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Only 14 human cases of Guinea worm illness were reported in 2021, according to the organization’s most lauded public health achievement to date. This achievement was made possible by years of public health programs to increase access to clean drinking water in Africa.
That represents a startling decline from 1986, when The Carter Center took the helm of the global eradication initiative and 3.5 million individuals were infected. Carter once expressed his desire to outlive the last parasitic Guinea worm.
Carter was born on October 1st, 1924, into a wealthy family in a little town in south Georgia. In the 1950s, after Earl Carter passed away, he returned to Plains, Georgia with Rosalynn and their small family to take over the family peanut business. During World War II, he continued his education at the U.S. Naval Academy and pursued a career as a Cold War Naval officer.
The younger Carter, a moderate Democrat, rose quickly from the local school board to the state Senate, and later to the position of governor of Georgia. With a broad smile, outspoken Baptist values, and policy ideas that reflected his engineering background, he started his campaign for the White House as an underdog.
After Nixon’s embarrassment and the United States’ failure in Southeast Asia, he promised not to lie to the American people, which helped him win over many Americans.
“Don’t vote for me if I ever mislead you or if I ever lie to you. Throughout his campaign, Carter frequently declared, “I would not deserve to be your president.
The last Democratic presidential contender to win the Deep South was Jimmy Carter, who came of age politically during the civil rights movement. However, the region swiftly switched to Reagan and the Republicans in later elections.
He was president during a time of Cold War tensions, erratic oil markets, and societal unrest over issues like racism, women’s rights, and America’s place in the world.
Carter achieved success in his foreign policy by keeping Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the negotiating table for 13 days in 1978. The post-presidential center where Carter would create a large portion of his legacy was inspired by his Camp David experience. At home, Carter established the departments of Education and Energy as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and largely deregulated the railroad, trucking, and aviation industries. Millions of acres in Alaska were set aside by him as national parks or wildlife refuges. He appointed a historically high proportion of women and people of color to government positions. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the nation’s second highest court by him despite never having a nomination to the Supreme Court, setting her up for a promotion in 1993.
Although he tolerated autocrats in Asia, Carter also built on Nixon’s opening with China and pushed Latin America’s dictatorships toward democracy.
However, Carter’s electoral coalition broke apart as a result of high double-digit inflation, long queues for gas, and the 444-day Iranian hostage crisis. His worst moment came in April 1980 when eight Americans lost their lives during a botched hostage rescue, which contributed to his resounding defeat.
After his defeat, Carter mostly disappeared from electoral politics for several years. Democrats hesitated to support him. Republicans caricatured him as a helpless liberal, turning him into a joke. In reality, Carter governed more like a technocrat; he was a budget hawk who frequently enraged more liberal Democrats, including Ted Kennedy, the Massachusetts senator who fought a losing primary campaign against the incumbent president in 1980; and more progressive on issues of racial and gender equality than he had claimed to be during his campaign.
After leaving office, Carter said that he had undervalued the significance of working with influential figures in Washington, especially the media and lobbying groups based in the capital. Even though he notably missed out on a second term, he argued that his general strategy was sound and that he had succeeded in his main goals of “protecting our nation’s security and interests peacefully” and “encouraging human rights here and abroad.”
Years later, when he was a nonagenarian and was diagnosed with cancer, he expressed happiness with his long life.
In 2015, he declared, “I’m completely at ease with whatever comes.” “I’ve led a thrilling, adventurous, and fulfilling life.”
The Associated Press’ Bill Barrow