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Jimmy Carter Is an American Icon: Learn Lesser Known Facts About the Former President

Jimmy Carter was in office from 1977 until 1981, but it was his life outside the White House that has continued to speak volumes.

From his foundation to his Nobel Peace Prize, former President Jimmy Carter has certainly left his mark on the United States of America. The statesman is now 99 years old as of publication, and his grandson Jason Carter informed the public that the beloved peanut farmer is asleep most days.To honor him, Woman’s World has rounded up the 11 best and lesser known Jimmy Carter facts, including what his real name is. Keep scrolling for that and more.

1. Jimmy Carter was the 39th president of the United States

Jimmy Carter in 1976
Jimmy Carter in 1976Getty

Former President Carter was a member of the Democratic party and served as the 39th president of the United States of America after beating former President Gerald R. Ford — Carter had 297 electoral votes and Ford had 241.

Former President Carter was in office from January 20, 1977, to January 20, 1981. He was succeeded by Ronald Reagan after Reagan beat him in the 1980 presidential election. Carter lost in part due to some voters thinking that his ideals were not appropriate for the time period. Others, however, voted for Reagan because of how slowly Carter seemingly handled the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 — a contentious point of history that has since been re-examined, as claims the Reagan campaign intentionally worked to stop hostages from being freed before Election day have surfaced since.

2. Jimmy Carter was a governor and a senator

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 1980
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 1980Getty

Before he took over the Oval Office, Carter served as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975, and worked on removing racial barriers across the state during his time in office. He was also a Georgia state senator from 1963 to 1967.

3. Jimmy Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize

Jimmy Carter in 2002
Jimmy Carter in 2002Getty

In 2002, former President Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in finding peaceful solutions to international conflicts, as well as his work toward advancing human rights, democracy and economic development worldwide.

4. Jimmy Carter was married for 77 years

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 1976
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 1976Getty

The former president was married to Rosalynn Carter for 77 years. The two tied the knot in 1946 and remained together until her death in 2023. They had four children together.

5. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter founded The Carter Center

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 2015
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 2015Getty

Founded in 1982 by the Carters and Emory University, The Carter Center is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that helps improve the quilty of life in ove 80 different countries worldwide.

6. Jimmy Carter was born under another name

Jimmy Carter in 1977
Jimmy Carter in 1977Getty

Former President Carter was born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia under the name James Earl Carter, Jr, but he never goes by that name.

7. President Carter was a naval officer

Jimmy Carter in 1980
Jimmy Carter in 1980Getty

The former president graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1946. After, he served in the Navy as a submariner and then as a lieutenant for seven years before returning home and pursuing a career in state politics.

8. Jimmy Carter created a national energy policy while in office

Jimmy Carter in 1994
Jimmy Carter in 1994Getty

During his time in the White House, former President Carter worked on creating a national energy policy that would decontrol domestic petroleum prices to stimulate production in an effort to help improve the environment and eliminate the United States’ carbon footprint.

9. Jimmy Carter founded the Department of Education

Jimmy Carter in 2009
Jimmy Carter in 2009Getty

Along with helping improve the planet, Carter worked to create a fair and equal education and work environment for people from all races and religions. To do that, he created the Department of Education, which allowed him to appoint a record-breaking number of women, African Americans and Hispanics to government jobs.

10. Jimmy Carter helped work on the second nuclear submarine

Jimmy Carter in 2017
Jimmy Carter in 2017Getty

While he served in the Navy, Carter was selected by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program. The program was based in Schenectady, New York, and Carter worked there as a senior officer in the reactor technology and nuclear physics division, where he worked on the second nuclear submarine, Seawolf.

11. Jimmy Carter has written 32 books

Jimmy Carter in 2015
Jimmy Carter in 2015Getty

Over the course of his career, President Carter has written 32 books. His first, Why Not the Best?, was published in 1975 and then revised in 1996. Carter’s latest book was released in 2018 and was entitled Faith: A Journey for All.

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