Jimmy Carter represented change for America in a lot of ways. Born James Earl Carter in 1924, he wasn’t destined to be a typical person of the Deep South. His father was a farmer best known for growing peanuts in the state of Georgia, where Jimmy grew up. His family was well off enough to have remained part of the old establishment.
It became apparent, however, that Jimmy Carter would do as so many successful Americans had done, and follow through on his own vision for success way beyond the boundaries of the comfortable-but-anonymous social position he could have stayed in simply going into the family business. He did return to the family business in 1953 after his father died. He’d been serving in navy since graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
Americans of all ages best associate former President Carter with one particular word: volunteering. Volunteering had been in the President’s blood since his youth. In the US Navy, he’d served as a submariner. The Navy tells us that a sub is the only place where every participant is a volunteer.
Following his presidency, which ended in 1980 when his re-election bid ended in defeat by Republican challenger Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter didn’t become a silent face in history. He continued to serve the country as a volunteer. Together with his wife, Rosalynn, he developed a reputation as a humble icon through his work with Habitat For Humanity. Since 1984, both he and Rosalynn have continued to volunteer to build homes for needy Americans.
Carter’s Lasting Legacy Of Making Peace
While Jimmy Carter’s presidency may have only been one term, his legacy is apparent. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Carter’s legacy is the Camp David Accords. Carter worked together with then-president of Egypt Anwar Sadat to create the accords which led to a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the only treaty of its kind between Israel and any Islamic nation of the Middle East.
Sadat was tragically assassinated by opponents of the Camp David Accords. Despite all of the tension that remains between Israel and other Middle Eastern nations to this day, the treaty between Egypt and Israel has held together even as Egypt has seen long-term unrest and a toppling of its government, and even as Israel continues to be at odds with most Middle Eastern nations including Egypt on many policy issues.
Carter Is Also An Accomplished Author
Like our current president Obama, former president Jimmy Carter is also a very accomplished author. His first book Why Not The Best? Was published in 1976, right around the time he became President. Carter has published a total of 28 books since he first took office. His latest book, A Call To Action-Women, Religion, Violence and Power was released this year.
The release of his new book this year demonstrates Carter’s continued interest in serving the country and his devotion to furthering the causes of human rights around the world. Carter remains a true American social activist even as he approaches his 90th birthday, which he will celebrate in October of this year.