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Jimmy Carter

U.S. President

Born: 1 October 1924
Birthplace: Plains, Georgia
Best known as: 39th President of the U.S., 1977-81

Name at birth: James Earl Carter, Jr.

Jimmy Carter defeated incumbent Gerald Ford in 1976 to become president of the United States. Carter grew up on a farm in Georgia and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. After working with the nuclear submarine program, he resigned his commission after his father's death in 1953 and returned to the family farm. He entered local politics in 1962 and by 1971 was elected Governor of Georgia. In the presidential election of 1976 Carter, a dark horse candidate of the Democratic party, won the nomination and then defeated the Republican Gerald Ford, who had replaced Richard M. Nixon after Nixon's resignation. Carter championed human rights and responsible government, but his term was dogged by high inflation, high unemployment and an energy crisis. The last fourteen months of his term were dominated by an ongoing hostage situation at the U.S. Embassy in Iran. Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale ran for a second term in 1980, but they were defeated by Republicans Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Since leaving office, Carter has worked internationally for the disenfranchised, fighting hunger and poverty through a variety of non-profit organizations. His many books include Negotiation: The Alternative to Hostility (1984), the Middle East study Blood of Abraham (1985), Living Faith (1996), the controversial Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (2006), and the memoirs Keeping Faith (1983) and Hours Before Daylight (2001). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his years of humanitarian work.

Extra credit: Carter's best-known achievement as president was the peace treaty he negotiated between Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin. The treaty is known as the Camp David Accords for the presidential retreat where the trio negotiated for 13 days before reaching the agreement. Sadat and Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize...For many years Carter taught Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia.

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