Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.), 39th president of the United States, was born Oct. 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Ga., and grew up in the nearby community of Archery. He attended Georgia Southwestern College, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. When his father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and took his family back to Plains. He took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter's Warehouse, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company.
In 1962 he 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 Jan. 12, 1971. He was the Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional elections. On Dec. 12, 1974, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States and was elected president on Nov. 2, 1976.
Jimmy Carter served as president from Jan. 20, 1977, to Jan. 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy 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. On the domestic side, the administration's achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy; deregulation in energy, transportation, communications, and finance; major educational programs under a new Department of Education; and major environmental protection legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
In 1982, he became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and founded The Carter Center. Actively guided by President Carter, the nonpartisan and nonprofit 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.
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