Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter Jr.), 39th President of the United States, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.
President Carter was born October 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia. He was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
On July 7, 1946, he married Rosalynn Smith of Plains. When his father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and returned with his family to Georgia. He took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter’s Warehouse, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company in Plains. He quickly became a leader of the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority, and the library.
In 1962, Carter won election to the Georgia Senate. He lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966 but won the next election, becoming Georgia’s 76th governor on January 12, 1971. He was the Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional and gubernatorial elections.
Jimmy Carter served as President of the United States from January 20, 1977, to January 20, 1981. Significant accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
In 1982, President Carter became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded The Carter Center. Actively guided by President Carter, the nonpartisan and nonprofit Carter Center addresses national and international issues of public policy. Carter Center fellows, associates, and staff join with President Carter in efforts to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease and other afflictions.