Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, in Hospice Care – Orange County Register

By Bill Barrow, Associated Press

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter, who at 98 is the longest-living American president, has entered home hospice care in Plains, Georgia, a statement from the Carter Center confirmed Saturday.

After a series of brief hospitalizations, the statement said, Carter “decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care rather than additional medical intervention.”

The statement said the 39th President has the full support of his medical team and family, who “request privacy at this time and are grateful for the concerns of his many admirers.”

Carter was a little-known governor of Georgia when he ran for the presidency before the 1976 election. He then defeated then-President Gerald R. Ford and made capital as an outsider in Washington after the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal that ousted Richard Nixon in 1974.

Carter served a turbulent single term, defeated by Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980, a landslide loss that ultimately paved the way for his decades-long advocacy for democracy, public health, and human rights through the Carter Center.

The former President and his wife Rosalynn, 95, opened the center in 1982. His work there won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

Jason Carter, the couple’s grandson, who now chairs the Carter Center’s board of directors, said in a tweet Saturday that he “saw both my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and, as always, their home is filled with love.”

Carter, who spent most of his life in Plains, traveled extensively into his 80s and early 90s, including annual trips to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and frequent trips abroad as part of the Carter Center’s election observation and efforts , Guinea eradicate worm parasites in developing countries. But the former president’s health has deteriorated in his 10th decade, especially as the coronavirus pandemic restricted his public appearances, including at his beloved Maranatha Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school classes for decades before standing-room only crowds of visitors.

In August 2015, Carter had a small cancerous mass removed from his liver. The following year, Carter announced that he needed no further treatment because an experimental drug eliminated all signs of cancer.

Carter celebrated his recent birthday in October with family and friends in Plains, the tiny town where he and his wife Rosalynn were born in the years between World War I and the Great Depression.

The Carter Center last year celebrated 40 years of advancing its human rights agenda.

The center is a pioneer in election observation, having monitored at least 113 elections in Africa, Latin America and Asia since 1989. In perhaps its most celebrated public health effort, the organization recently announced that there were just 14 human cases of Guinea worm disease reported throughout 2021, the result of years of public health campaigns to improve access to safe drinking water in Africa.

That’s a stunning drop from when the Carter Center began leading the global eradication effort in 1986, when the parasitic disease infected 3.5 million people. Carter once said he hopes to outlive the last Guinea worm parasite.

Carter was born on October 1, 1924 to a prominent family in rural South Georgia. He went to the US Naval Academy during World War II and pursued a career as a Cold War naval officer before returning to Plains, Georgia with Rosalynn and her young family to run the family’s peanut business after the death of Earl Carter in the 1950s to take over.

A moderate Democrat, the younger Carter rose quickly from the local school board to the state senate and then to the Georgia governor’s office. He began his bid for the White House as an outsider, with outspoken Baptist morals and technocratic plans that reflected his engineering training. He linked with many Americans over his pledge not to deceive the American people in the wake of Nixon’s disgrace and the US defeat in Southeast Asia.

“If I ever lie to you, if I ever make a misleading statement, don’t vote for me. I didn’t deserve to be your president,” Carter often said during the campaign.

Carter, who came of age politically during the civil rights movement, was the last Democratic presidential nominee to conquer the Deep South before the region quickly transitioned to Reagan and the Republicans in the ensuing election.

He ruled amid the pressures of the Cold War, turbulent oil markets, and social upheaval over racism, women’s rights, and America’s global role.

Carter’s foreign policy achievements included brokering peace in the Middle East by holding Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at the negotiating table for 13 days in 1978. This experience at Camp David inspired the post-presidency center where Carter would leave so much of his legacy. Back home, Carter partially deregulated the airline, railroad, and truck industries and established the Departments of Education and Energy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He designated millions of acres in Alaska as national parks or wildlife sanctuaries. He appointed what was then a record number of women and non-whites to federal posts. He never had a Supreme Court nomination, but he did bring civil rights attorney Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the nation’s second highest court and put her in position for a promotion in 1993.

Carter also built on Nixon’s openness to China, and while he tolerated autocrats in Asia, he pushed Latin America from dictatorships to democracy.

But Carter’s electoral coalition collapsed amid double-digit inflation, gas lines and Iran’s 444-day hostage crisis. His darkest hour came when eight Americans died in a failed hostage rescue in April 1980, contributing to his defeat by a landslide.

After his loss, Carter largely retired from electoral politics for years. Democrats hesitated to embrace him. Republicans made a punch line out of him and caricatured him as an unhappy liberal. In reality, Carter ruled more as a technocrat, more progressive on race and gender equality than he had fought but as a budget hawk who often angered more liberal Democrats, including Ted Kennedy, the Massachusetts Senator who fought a destructive primary campaign against the incumbent president in 1980 .

Carter said after leaving office that he underestimated the importance of dealing with Washington power brokers, including media and lobbying forces anchored in the nation’s capital. But he insisted his overall approach was sound and that he had achieved his key goals — “peacefully protecting our nation’s security and interests” and “enhancing human rights here and abroad” — even as he spectacularly missed a second term.

And years later, after his cancer diagnosis at the age of ninety, he expressed satisfaction with his long life.

“I’m completely comfortable with whatever comes,” he said in 2015. “I’ve had an exciting, adventurous, and fulfilling existence.”

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/18/carter-center-former-president-jimmy-carter-to-receive-hospice-care-at-home-instead-of-treatment-at-hospital/ Jimmy Carter, 39th US President, in Hospice Care – Orange County Register

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