Real-Life Superhero of the Week: Jimmy Carter

Happy early birthday, Jimmy Carter! Our 39th president turns 91 on Thursday.

Born in 1934 in Plains, Georgia, Carter and his three siblings worked on their family farmlands. As a teenager Carter already had an acre of his family’s land, where he started growing and selling his own peanuts.

Carter attended Georgia Southwestern College then gained entry into the United Sates Naval Academy. It was during this time that he fell in love with future wife Rosalynn Smith. Once Carter graduated in 1946, the pair married and lived in Virginia, Hawaii, Connecticut, and California while Carter was in the Navy.

Although Carter was rising through the naval ranks, he moved Rosalynn and his three sons back to Georgia when his father died in 1953. There, Carter and his wife took to expanding his father’s peanut farming into a more lucrative endeavor.

By 1961, Carter was well-established in his community. So when a state Senate seat opened, he ran – and won. During his two terms in the Senate, Carter helped create a bill that increased education funding in Georgia. In 1966, Carter ran for governor of Georgia but ended up losing to conservative candidate Lester Maddox.

But Carter wasn’t done with politics yet. Although he returned to civilian life, he spent the next four years planning another gubernatorial campaign. In 1970, Carter beat both his Democratic and Republic challengers to win the election.

Carter’s time as governor was marked by his dedication to advancing the civil rights cause and his reluctance to grant political favors. His government began hiring more and more black state employees. Carter hung a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Capitol building. He also appointed judges and other positions based on merit and increased funding for schools in the state.

In the early 1970s, Carter began aiming for the White House. He officially entered the presidential race in 1976. Carter was the ultimate underdog. But the election came straight on the heels of the Watergate scandal – so Carter’s image as a Washington outsider with little name recognition became an advantage that helped him win the election.

Carter’s first and only Presidency was marred with conflict. He came to office during an economic slump, signing a bill in 1979 to bail out the Chrysler corporation. On top of that, the energy crisis and the Iran hostage situation made it impossible for Carter to win against Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Presidential election.

After leaving office, Carter established the Carter Center in 1982. The organization’s sole purpose is to advance human rights and works around the world to promote global health, fair elections and democracy. In 2002, Carter received a Nobel Prize for his work with the Carter Center.

Carter has also spent much of his post-presidential life abroad, traveling during the 80s, 90s and 00s on diplomatic mission. He’s been to North Korea in order to stop it from creating nuclear weapons, and throughout the Middle East to help mend relations between Israel and Palestine.

Most recently, Carter made headlines after announcing that four spots of cancer had spread to his brain. But he’s still planning to travel to Nepal in November on a Habitat for Humanity project.

Jimmy Carter proves that just because you’re no longer in office doesn’t mean you can’t affect global change. Whether he’s criticizing the current government’s policy on prisoner torture or going to Vietnam to build houses for the poor, former President Carter never stopped trying to make the world better – even when his political career has suffered for it. And that’s why he’s our Real-Life Superhero of the Week.

Liked this? Check out last week’s real-life superhero, Ray Charles!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian

 

Happy early birthday, Jimmy Carter! Our 39th president turns 91 on Thursday.

Born in 1934 in Plains, Georgia, Carter and his three siblings worked on their family farmlands. As a teenager Carter already had an acre of his family’s land, where he started growing and selling his own peanuts.

Carter attended Georgia Southwestern College then gained entry into the United Sates Naval Academy. It was during this time that he fell in love with future wife Rosalynn Smith. Once Carter graduated in 1946, the pair married and lived in Virginia, Hawaii, Connecticut, and California while Carter was in the Navy.

Although Carter was rising through the naval ranks, he moved Rosalynn and his three sons back to Georgia when his father died in 1953. There, Carter and his wife took to expanding his father’s peanut farming into a more lucrative endeavor.

By 1961, Carter was well-established in his community. So when a state Senate seat opened, he ran – and won. During his two terms in the Senate, Carter helped create a bill that increased education funding in Georgia. In 1966, Carter ran for governor of Georgia but ended up losing to conservative candidate Lester Maddox.

But Carter wasn’t done with politics yet. Although he returned to civilian life, he spent the next four years planning another gubernatorial campaign. In 1970, Carter beat both his Democratic and Republic challengers to win the election.

Carter’s time as governor was marked by his dedication to advancing the civil rights cause and his reluctance to grant political favors. His government began hiring more and more black state employees. Carter hung a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Capitol building. He also appointed judges and other positions based on merit and increased funding for schools in the state.

In the early 1970s, Carter began aiming for the White House. He officially entered the presidential race in 1976. Carter was the ultimate underdog. But the election came straight on the heels of the Watergate scandal – so Carter’s image as a Washington outsider with little name recognition became an advantage that helped him win the election.

Carter’s first and only Presidency was marred with conflict. He came to office during an economic slump, signing a bill in 1979 to bail out the Chrysler corporation. On top of that, the energy crisis and the Iran hostage situation made it impossible for Carter to win against Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Presidential election.

After leaving office, Carter established the Carter Center in 1982. The organization’s sole purpose is to advance human rights and works around the world to promote global health, fair elections and democracy. In 2002, Carter received a Nobel Prize for his work with the Carter Center.

Carter has also spent much of his post-presidential life abroad, traveling during the 80s, 90s and 00s on diplomatic mission. He’s been to North Korea in order to stop it from creating nuclear weapons, and throughout the Middle East to help mend relations between Israel and Palestine.

Most recently, Carter made headlines after announcing that four spots of cancer had spread to his brain. But he’s still planning to travel to Nepal in November on a Habitat for Humanity project.

Jimmy Carter proves that just because you’re no longer in office doesn’t mean you can’t affect global change. Whether he’s criticizing the current government’s policy on prisoner torture or going to Vietnam to build houses for the poor, former President Carter never stopped trying to make the world better – even when his political career has suffered for it. And that’s why he’s our Real-Life Superhero of the Week.

Liked this? Check out last week’s real-life superhero, Ray Charles!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian

 

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