The former president decides to spend his remaining time at home with his family.
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, has decided to undergo palliative care and spend his remaining time at home, the Carter Center said Saturday on its Twitter account. Carter, 98, is the longest-serving president in U.S. history.
“After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has decided today to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive palliative care in lieu of medical intervention. He has the full support of his family and medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and appreciates the concern shown by his many supporters,” the Carter Center said in a statement.
The center did not specify Carter’s condition. The former president began treatment for brain cancer in 2015, which later subsided. In 2019, he underwent surgery to relieve pressure from brain hemorrhages he had suffered after several falls. He has had other complications and ailments.
Carter won the presidential election in 1976 against Gerald Ford and served as president from January 1977 to January 1981. The last deceased former U.S. president is George Bush Sr., born the same year as Carter and died in November 2018. The other living former presidents are Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, all younger than the current White House tenant, Joe Biden, who is 80 years old. The youngest is Obama, at 61, while Clinton, Bush and Trump are all three from the fifth of 1946 and are 76 years old.
The former Democratic leader connected with many voters because of his promise not to deceive Americans in the wake of Watergate and the U.S. defeat in Vietnam. “If I ever lie to you, if I ever make a misleading statement, don’t vote for me. I would not deserve to be your president,” Carter often said while campaigning. Carter, who came of political age during the civil rights movement, was the last Democratic presidential candidate to sweep the Deep South, before the region quickly went for Reagan and the Republicans in subsequent elections.
The oil crisis, runaway inflation and the embassy hostage-taking in Tehran eroded the president’s popularity. He lost overwhelmingly to Ronald Reagan in 1980. It was the first time a president voted for by Americans running for reelection had failed to win a second term since Herbert Hoover’s presidency in 1932. After him, George Bush Sr. and Donald Trump have also been one-term presidents.
Nobel Peace Prize
In 2002 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the search for peaceful solutions to international conflicts, the advancement of democracy and human rights and the promotion of economic and social development, a work he has carried out through the Carter Center. The Center has been a pioneer in election observation, monitoring at least 113 elections in Africa, Latin America and Asia since 1989. In perhaps its most acclaimed public health initiative, the organization recently announced that in all of 2021, only 14 human cases of Guinea worm disease had been reported, the result of years of public health campaigns to improve access to clean water in Africa. The Carter Center began leading the global eradication effort in 1986, when the parasitic disease was infecting 3.5 million people.
Carter, who has rarely used his full name (James Earl Carter, Jr.), was born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. Peanut farming, conversations about politics and devotion to the Baptist faith were the pillars of his upbringing, the White House recounts in his biography. After graduating in 1946 from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Carter married Rosalynn Smith. The Carters have three sons, John William (Jack), James Earl III (Chip) and Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff), and a daughter, Amy Lynn.
After seven years of service as a naval officer, Carter returned to Plains. In 1962 he entered state politics, and eight years later was elected governor of Georgia. Among the new young governors in the South, he attracted attention for emphasizing ecology, government efficiency and the elimination of racial barriers.
Carter announced his candidacy for the presidency in December 1974 and began a two-year campaign when he was almost an unknown, but he gained momentum thanks to good results in the primaries of the first states to vote. At the Democratic convention he was nominated on the first ballot and chose Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale as his vice presidential nominee. Carter campaigned hard against President Gerald Ford, who had replaced Richard Nixon after his resignation over the Watergate affair. Carter won by 297 electoral votes or pledges to Ford’s 241.
In foreign affairs, his defense of human rights was received coolly by the Soviet Union and some other nations. In the Middle East, through the 1978 Camp David agreement, he contributed to reconciliation between Egypt and Israel. During his presidency he achieved the ratification of the Panama Canal treaties, which returned sovereignty over the Canal to Panama.
Building on the work of his predecessors, he established full diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and completed the negotiation of the SALT II nuclear limitation treaty with the Soviet Union. However, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to the suspension of plans to ratify the pact.
The last stretch of his presidency was marked by the hostage crisis in Iran, which unfolded over 444 days beginning on November 4, 1979, when a group of Iranian students took 66 U.S. diplomats and citizens hostage following the storming of the embassy in Tehran in the midst of the Islamist revolution.
The consequences of Iran holding Americans captive, along with continued inflation in the country, contributed to Carter’s defeat in 1980. After his stunning defeat of Reagan, he continued the difficult hostage negotiations. Iran finally released the 52 Americans on the same day Carter left office.
His grandson Jason Carter, who chairs the board of the Carter Center, tweeted Saturday, “I saw both my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and, as always, their home is filled with love. Thank you all for your kind words.”