Former President Jimmy Carter enters hospice care at home

ATLANTA — Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the U.S., has entered home hospice care, WSB-TV reported Saturday, citing the Carter Center.

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Carter, 98, the oldest living former president, served one term from 1977 to 1981. He will remain at his home in Plains, Georgia, according to The Carter Center.

“After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention,” The Carter Center said in a statement. “He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers.”

Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts,” according to the Nobel Foundation.

Despite his success with the Camp David Accords in 1978, which brought together the leaders of Israel and Egypt, the final year of Carter’s presidency was hampered by high inflation, economic issues and the 444-day hostage crisis in Iran. Fifty-two Americans were held by Iranian militants at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Despite a botched rescue attempt and negotiations, the hostages were not released until Inauguration Day 1981, when Ronald Reagan took office.

Carter became the oldest president in U.S. history in March 2019, WSB reported. That is when he passed former President George H.W. Bush, who died the previous November.

Born Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia, Carter rose from a peanut farmer in South Georgia to serve two two-year terms in the state Senate.

Carter was the oldest of four children born to businessman James Earl Carter Sr. and Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.

He studied at Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology before moving to Annapolis, Maryland, to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. He married Rosalynn Smith after graduating in 1946 and launched a Navy career soon afterward.

Carter had a failed run for governor in 1966 but was elected four years later, becoming the state’s 76th chief executive.

Touting himself as a Washington outsider, Carter announced a bid in 1975 for the presidency, telling audiences, that “I’m Jimmy Carter and I’m running for president.”

His bid for the White House in 1976 came two years after the Watergate scandal that culminated in the resignation of Richard Nixon. Carter surprised the establishment Democrats by winning the 1976 nomination and choosing Sen. Walter Mondale of Minnesota as his running mate.

Carter defeated Nixon’s replacement, Gerald R. Ford, in a closely contested election that became spicy when Carter admitted in a Playboy interview shortly before the general election that God had forgiven him even though he had committed “lust in his heart.”

Ford made history as the only unelected president in U.S. history when Nixon resigned. He was chosen vice president after Nixon’s running mate, Spiro Agnew, resigned after a scandal. But Carter overcame his late campaign gaffes to win the election, earning 297 electoral votes to Ford’s 240.

Carter set his populist agenda early, eschewing a ride after his inaugural and walking down the parade route with his wife and daughter, Amy.

During his term, Carter created the Department of Energy and the Department of education. He normalized diplomatic relations with mainland China and signed the Panama Canal treaties.

His biggest success was in the Camp David Accords in September 1978, when he served as an intermediary between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Begin and Sadat would win the Nobel Peace Prize for their successful negotiations.

After winning a bruising challenge from Sen. Ted Kennedy for the Democratic nomination in 1980, Carter lost his reelection bid to Reagan. Carter lost by an overwhelming 489-49 margin, carrying only six states and the District of Columbia.

Carter began teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains after his term ended. In 1982, he and his wife founded The Carter Center, which focuses on resolving issues related to human rights and democracy.

The Carters live in a modest ranch house that the couple built in Plains in 1961, according to The New York Times.

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