Former President Jimmy Carter turns 99; tributes come from around the world

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter turned 99 years old Sunday. He is spending his day with his wife, Rosalynn Carter, and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in Plains, Georgia, according to The Associated Press. He is the longest-living U.S. president.

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Carter was joined by his wife, riding in the back of an SUV past the festival crowd celebrating his birthday, The Washington Post reported. The event was originally scheduled for Sunday but was moved to Saturday in case of a government shutdown.

Tributes for Carter have come in from across the world. One was from former President Bill Clinton on X, formerly known as Twitter. Clinton, elected in 1992, was the first Democrat since Carter to occupy the White House.

“Jimmy! Happy birthday,” Clinton said. “You only get to be 99 once. It’s been a long, good ride, and we thank you for your service and your friendship and the enduring embodiment of the American dream.”

Another was from Katie Couric, who, according to the AP, was the first woman to solo anchor a U.S. television network’s evening news broadcast.

Couric said that Carter wrote 32 books, worked with Habitat for Humanity and helped to “eradicate Guinea worm disease and river blindness,” the AP reported.

Other tributes came from Willie Nelson, Jane Fonda, Chelsea Handler, Peter Gabriel, former President Barack Obama and more.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 after Carter left the White House, according to the AP. It created a mosaic on its website filled with thousands of dedications to Carter and his legacy. You can see the full mosaic on the Carter Center website.

The center hosted events all weekend including a special naturalization ceremony for 99 new citizens at the Carter Library & Museum in Atlanta. The admission was 99 cents for the museum Saturday and Sunday.

World leaders and other pop culture figures wore “Jimmy Carter 99″ hats recently to focus on his decades of global humanitarian work after he left the White House, the AP reported.

“The remarkable piece to me and I think to my family is that while my grandparents have accomplished so much, they have really remained the same sort of South Georgia couple that lives in a 600-person village where they were born,” said grandson Jason Carter, according to the AP.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are the longest-married presidential couple ever, according to WSB-TV. They were married in 1946.

“You don’t get more out of a life than he got, right?” Jason Carter said, according to the AP. “It is an incredible, full rich life with a long marriage, a wonderful partnership with my grandmother, and the ability to see the world and interact with the world in ways that almost nobody else has ever been able to do.”

Carter started off as a peanut farmer in Georgia and found his way to becoming the governor of Georgia and then U.S. president, the Post reported.

In February, it was learned that Jimmy Carter had entered hospice care at home with his family without any additional medical treatment. WSB reported that three months after his announcement, the Carter Center announced that his wife, Rosalynn Carter, was diagnosed with dementia.

In 2015, according to the Post, doctors reportedly told Carter that his melanoma spread to his brain and liver. Carter was unfazed by it even though it is usually fatal.

Carter has been tracking the 2024 presidential election and watched the Atlanta Braves, who according to the Post, made the playoffs and was the No. 1 seed in the National League due to their MLB-best 104 victories.

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