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Portrait, James Earl Carter, Jr. James Earl Carter, Jr.

39th President of the United States
(January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981)

Nickname: “Jimmy”

Born: October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia

Father: James Earl Carter
Mother: Lillian Gordy Carter
Married: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter (1928- ), on July 7, 1946
Children: John William “Jack” Carter (1947- ); James Earl “Chip” Carter III (1950- ); Donnel Jeffrey “Jeff” Carter (1952- ); Amy Lynn Carter (1967- )

Religion: Baptist
Education: Attended Georgia Southwestern State University (1942); Attended Georgia Institute of Technology (1943); Graduated from U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. (1946)
Occupation: Farmer, public official
Political Party: Democrat
Other Government Positions:

  • Georgia State Senator, 1963-66
  • Governor of Georgia, 1971-75

Presidential Salary: $200,000/year + $50,000 expense account

Presidential Election Results:
Year Popular Votes Electoral Votes
1976 James E. Carter, Jr. 40,827,394 297
tiny U.S. flag Gerald R. Ford 39,145,977 240
tiny U.S. flag Ronald Reagan 1
1980 tiny U.S. flag Ronald Reagan 43,267,489 489
James E. Carter, Jr. 34,964,583 49
John B. Anderson 5,588,014

Vice President: Walter F. Mondale (1977-81)


Secretary of State
Cyrus R. Vance (1977-80)
Edmund S. Muskie (1980-81)
Secretary of the Treasury
W. Michael Blumenthal (1977-79)
G. William Miller (1979-81)
Secretary of Defense
Harold Brown (1977-81)
Attorney General
Griffin B. Bell (1977-79)
Benjamin R. Civiletti (1979-81)
Secretary of the Interior
Cecil D. Andrus (1977-81)
Secretary of Agriculture
Robert S. Bergland (1977-81)
Secretary of Commerce
Juanita M. Kreps (1977-79)
Philip Klutznick (1979-81)
Secretary of Labor
F. Ray Marshall (1977-81)
Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
Joseph A. Califano, Jr. (1977-79)
Patricia R. Harris (1979-80)
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Patricia R. Harris (1980-81)
Secretary of Education
Shirley Hufstedler (1980-81)
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Patricia R. Harris (1977-79)
Moon Landrieu (1979-81)
Secretary of Transportation
Brock Adams (1977-79)
Neil E. Goldschmidt (1979-81)
Secretary of Energy
James R. Schlesinger (1977-79)
Charles W. Duncan, Jr. (1979-81)

Notable Events:

  • 1977
  • 1978
    •  The Camp David Accords are signed, the first significant peace deal in the Middle East crisis.
    • The US grants China full diplomatic status.
  • 1979
  • 1980
    • The Carter Doctrine is introduced during the State of the Union address.
    • President Carter announces that the economy is in recession.
    • The Moscow Summer Olympics are boycotted by the US to protest the invasion of Afghanistan.
    • ‘Operation Eagle Claw’, an attempt to rescue the Tehran embassy hostages, fails.
  • 1981
    • The Algiers Accords bring an end to the hostage crisis.

Internet Biographies:

Jimmy Carter — from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Jimmy Carter — from American Presidents: Life Portraits — C-SPAN
Biographical information, trivia, key events, video, and other reference materials. Website created to accompany C-SPAN’s 20th Anniversary Television Series, American Presidents: Life Portraits.
Jimmy Carter — from U.S. Presidents
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
Jimmy Carter — from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
A brief overview of Carter’s life, including publications and family history.
Jimmy Carter — from Character Above All
From a PBS broadcast of the same name, this essay excerpt by Hendrik Hertzberg discusses some of the issues and events that molded Carter.
James Earl Carter — from From Revolution to Reconstruction
An brief examination of the Carter presidency’s highlights and lowlights.

Historical Documents:

Inaugural Address (1977)
Framework of Peace in the Middle East (1978)
Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty Between Egypt and Israel (1978)

Media Resources:

From his 1979 State of the Union address: “Will our children (in the 21st century) enjoy a better quality of life?” (0:57)
MP3 (455K)
From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University.
Audio & Video
The American Presidency Project’s Presidential Audio/Video Archive for Jimmy Carter site

Other Internet Resources:

Carter Center
A public policy institute founded by Carter in 1982. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, interviews, speeches, and opinions by Mr. and Mrs. Carter, as well as news, programs, and tour information are available.
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
Tourist information on the Carter residence, boyhood home, high school and visitor center in Plains, Georgia.

Points of Interest:

  • Jimmy Carter was the president in 1977 when the Trans-Alaska pipeline was completed and began operations. This came at a time when America was experiencing an oil and energy crisis resulting from the OPEC oil embargo of the early 1970’s.
  • In 1979, 32 solar panels were installed at the White House. This was one of the initiatives taken by President Carter to persuade Americans to turn towards renewable sources of energy. The panels were taken down by the next administration. 
  • In 1982, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter established the Carter Center with the aim of advancing human rights and alleviating human suffering. 
  • In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development”. He is the third US president to receive this honor.

Previous President: tiny U.S. flag Gerald Rudolph Ford | Next President: tiny U.S. flag Ronald Wilson Reagan

©1996-2008. Robert S. Summers. All rights reserved.

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