Former President of the United States and Nobel Prize winner, James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1st, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. Most commonly known as Jimmy Carter, he grew up in Georgia and, after graduating high school in 1941, attended the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1946. After getting his degree, Carter joined the U. S. Navy, specializing in nuclear energy navy operations and moving around quite a lot due to his deployments.
In 1953, Jimmy abruptly left the Navy when his father passed away, as he went back to Georgia to take care of the family business, a peanut farm. His first year back home was rough: his father had left him a small inheritance, it was a big change for the Carter family to leave the Navy and return to farming, and the results of his first harvest were poor due to a drought. Things improved in the following years, as the Carters learned the ropes of farming and accounting, eventually making the farm a successful endeavor.
Carter became more involved in politics as racial tensions in the States grew because of segregation politics still in effect. Carter was in favor of integration, and he began to speak up more and more within his community, eventually deciding to run for the Senate in 1962 as a seat for Georgia became available. He won the election and served as state senator for the Democratic Party from 1963 to 1967. During his time in office, Carter became invested in educational matters and reforms. After leaving his seat in Congress, Jimmy returned to his home state to run for governor. Carter lost the first election in 1966 but finally got elected in 1971, and he became the 76th governor of Georgia. During his time in office, Carter focused on reforms to the educational and social systems, and also supported equal civil rights for everyone.
Carter’s political aspirations at a national level go as far back as 1972. He started to become more involved with the Democratic Party and be more interested in nation-wide politics, finally announcing his intention to run for the White House in 1974. Although he was practically unknown at the time, Jimmy quickly overturned this and won the 1976’s Democratic Party nomination. In January of 1977, he was sworn in as the 39th President of the United States in 1977. He ran for re-election in 1980, but lost to Ronald Reagan. Although his time in office isn’t generally well regarded, Carter’s post-presidential activities are better viewed for his humanitarian efforts.
After failing to secure a second term, Carter began his diplomatic career, which continues to this day, starting in Israel and the Middle East. He then joined forces with Nelson Mandela and other global leaders to work on peace and human rights issues. In 1982, he founded the Carter Center, a non-profit organization that aimed to advance human rights, for which he was awarded the Peace Nobel Prize in 2002. Even now, Carter continues to be involved in current national and global affairs, striving for peace and human rights for all.