Jimmy Carter has devoted his life to service to the American people and to the peace and well-being of the international community.
Born in Plains, Georgia, he fulfilled his dream of attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, by achieving admission to Annapolis in 1943. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned as an ensign. He married Rosalynn after graduation and continued advancing his Naval career until 1953.
He was elected Georgia State Senator in 1963 and served two terms. In 1971 he was sworn in as the 76th Governor of Georgia. In his inaugural speech he declared that “the time of racial segregation is over…No poor, rural, weak, or black person should ever have to bear the additional burden of being deprived of the opportunity for an education, a job or simple justice”. Civil rights remained a core priority for him. In 1976 he was elected President of the United States and was sworn in on January 20, 1977. He spearheaded significant foreign policy accomplishments, including the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with China. He championed human rights throughout the world. His steadfast leadership resulted in and had substantial domestic achievements including a comprehensive energy program and a new Department of Energy; deregulation in many areas, including energy, transportation, communications, and finance; major educational legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
Since leaving office, President Carter has led a remarkable life, establishing the Carter Center, building his presidential library, teaching at Emory University, and writing numerous books. In 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.
Throughout his extraordinary public service career, President Jimmy Carter has demonstrated the personal and professional qualities exemplified by his dear friend President Gerald R. Ford – Integrity, Strength of Character, Diligence, Patriotism, and Sound Judgment. He is indeed a worthy recipient of the President Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
May 12, 2017
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideals, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exits in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.