POLITICS

Jimmy Carter Becomes The Longest-Living President In U.S. History

The 94-year-old has overtaken the title from former President George H.W. Bush, who died last November.

Former President Jimmy Carter is no longer just the oldest living U.S. president, but now the longest-living in the nation’s history, as well.

The 94-year-old overtook former President George H.W. Bush’s title by one day on Friday. Carter, the 39th president who was in the White House from 1977 to 1981, has now lived 94 years and 172 days.

Bush, the 41st president who was in the White House from 1989 to 1993, died on Nov. 30 after living 94 years and 171 days. Bush set the longest-living record in November 2017 when he surpassed former President Gerald Ford, who lived 93 years and 165 days before his death in 2006.

Former President Jimmy Carter, pictured here last April, was born on Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. On Friday he surpassed
Former President Jimmy Carter, pictured here last April, was born on Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. On Friday he surpassed George H.S. Bush as the longest-living president in U.S. history.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave the Georgia native the longest-living designation Thursday morning, but the Jimmy Carter Library noted that the newspaper had gotten ahead of itself and the story was corrected. The Atlanta-based library in a Twitter post said the paper “jumped the gun,” but that it was “all for getting the party started early!”

Deanna Congileo, a spokeswoman for the Carter Center nonprofit established by the former president, said in a statement to CNN, said that even as the one-time Georgia governor marks the monumental milestone, work isn’t over for him or his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

“President and Mrs. Carter are both determined to use their influence for as long as they can to make the world a better place, and millions of the world’s poorest people are grateful for their resolve and heart,” Congileo said.

Former President Jimmy Carter (far right) joined other White House occupants for a photo in early 2009, just before Barack Ob
Former President Jimmy Carter (far right) joined other White House occupants for a photo in early 2009, just before Barack Obama was poised to take office. Also pictured (from left) are George H.W. Bush, Obama, then-President George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Carter, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was a dark horse when the race began for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. But in the wake of the Watergate scandal, his pledge to “never lie” to the public resonated with voters, and he went on the capture the nomination and then narrowly defeat GOP President Gerald Ford.

As president, he played a major role in the negotiations that led to 1979′s Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. But high inflation, rising energy costs and the Iran hostage crisis plagued his term in office, and Republican Ronald Reagan easily beat him in 1980.

Since leaving the White House, Carter has been one of America’s most active ex-presidents, especially with his focus on philanthropic endeavors. He and his wife have long volunteered with the Georgia-based non-profit Habitat for Humanity, and their efforts significantly raised its profile. A devout Baptist, he continues to teach Sunday school, twice a month, at his church in Plains, Georgia.

He started the Carter Center in 1982, which works to prevent and resolve international conflicts, improve health and freedom and democracy. In 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his effort “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

He is also the author of numerous books, with his 32nd, Faith: A Journey for All, released in 2018.

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