175 Makers of History: Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter 79H
39th U.S. President

Jimmy Carter

The first U.S. president from the deep South to be elected in 132 years, Jimmy Carter served from 1977 to 1981.

After attending the U.S. Naval Academy and working on one of the nation's first nuclear powered submarines, Carter returned to his family's peanut farms in Georgia in 1953. In 1962, he was elected state senator and then governor of Georgia in 1970. In 1976, Carter defeated incumbent Gerald Ford to become the thirty-ninth president of the United States.

After leaving office, he established The Carter Center, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization affiliated with Emory, where he serves as University Distinguished Professor. The Center works to advance human rights, expand peace and democracy, and eradicate disease. Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, are also known for their work building low-income housing with Habitat for Humanity. In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize.