The Secret Service has sent a moving message to Jimmy Carter wishing the longest-surviving President in US history well after it was revealed he was receiving hospice care.
Carter, 98, has decided to spend his final days at home in Plains, Georgia with his 76-year-old wife Rosalynn, 95.
“Be calm, Mr. President,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted after news of his condition was announced on Saturday.
‘We will always be by your side.’
Jimmy Carter, who was announced Saturday as entering hospice care, is seen protected by the Secret Service during his presidency from 1977 to 1981
Carter and his wife Rosalynn are pictured in their hometown of Plains, Georgia, in August 2018, followed by two Secret Service agents
Friends and admirers of the former President, who served from 1977 to 1991, also sent their best wishes to the beloved Elder Statesman.
Raphael Warnock, a Senator from Carter’s home state and a fellow Baptist, praised Carter’s faith.
“Throughout the seasons, President Jimmy Carter, a man of great faith, walked with God,” Warnock said.
“In this tender time of transition, surely God walks with him.
“May he, Rosalynn and the entire Carter family be comforted in this peace and have our love and prayers.”
David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to Barack Obama, said: “Very sad news about a remarkable man and a great American who has done so much for the world. Thinking of President Carter and his family.”
Even Roger Stone, the pro-Trump politician, paid tribute to Carter’s life and legacy.
“Jimmy Carter wasn’t a great president, but he’s a good man, a patriotic American, and an honest Christian who cleaned up the CIA after its abuses became public,” Stone said.
‘God bless him.’
Former US President Jimmy Carter has decided to seek hospice care and “spend the rest of his time at home with his family” instead of undergoing additional medical procedures, the Carter Center said Saturday
Actress and activist Mia Farrow tweeted a lengthy thread praising his life’s work, particularly highlighting his role with housing organization Habitat for Humanity and his efforts to improve access to health care in developing countries.
“Prayers and gratitude and love for this fine person who has given so much to the world,” she said.
“Jimmy Carter is one of the kindest, most considerate people I’ve ever met,” said Jon Stewart.
“He’s the best of us.”
Maria Shriver, niece of John F. Kennedy and former first lady of California, said he was a role model for everyone.
“This man advances humanity every day. He’s such an inspiration,” she said.
‘He dedicated his whole life to public service. Sending him and his family my love, respect, support.’
Actor Billy Baldwin added, “Prayers for Jimmy Carter… the gold standard of decency, kindness and public service.
“His post presidency is unparalleled.”
And New York Times columnist Nick Kristof tweeted: “I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of presidents, kings, Nobel Peace Prize winners and really amazing people.
“Few are as truly good as Jimmy Carter, now in hospice at the age of 98.
“He’s leaving this planet so much better than he found it. A great, great, great man.”
The Carter Center announced on Twitter Saturday that after a series of brief hospitalizations, Carter “has decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care in lieu of additional medical procedures.”
It said the Democrat, who has dedicated his life to public service and charity, has the full support of his medical team and family.
They did not elaborate on what conditions prompted the recent hospital visits.
His grandson Jason tweeted Saturday that he was visiting his grandparents and said they are “at peace and – as always – their home is full of love.”
Carter, a Navy veteran and Nobel Peace Prize winner, became the 39th US President when he defeated Gerald R. Ford in 1976.
At that time, the country was still suffering from the Watergate scandal under President Richard Nixon.
He served a single term, marred by an oil crisis that forced Americans to wait in lines for gas, and was defeated by Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Carter then devoted himself to philanthropy and lived a modest life with his wife, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In 2019, at age 95, he helped build a home in Nashville for one of his beloved charities, Habitat for Humanity.
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.
Born on October 1, 1924 with the rarely used full name James Earl Carter, Jr., he grew up during the Great Depression.
The son of a Georgia peanut farmer, he said that farming, talking about politics, and devoting himself to the Baptist faith were the pillars of his upbringing.
Carter graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1946 and married Rosalynn Smith shortly thereafter.
The couple have three sons – John William (Jack), James Earl III (Chip), Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff) – and one daughter, Amy Lynn.
Carter served seven years as a naval officer before returning to Georgia, where he entered state politics in 1962.
Eight years later he was elected governor of Georgia.
He launched a bid for the White House in 1974 and built momentum over the next two years.
As President, he created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education.
He said his goal is to make government “competent and compassionate.”
By the end of his tenure, inflation and interest rates were near record highs, but Carter still managed to add nearly eight million jobs and narrow the budget deficit.
He had also worked on the energy shortage by introducing a national energy policy and liberalizing domestic oil prices to boost production.
And he sought to improve the environment by expanding the national park system to include the protection of 103 million acres of Alaskan land.
He installed solar panels on the roof of the White House – only for Reagan to dismantle them.
Carter here in 2018 with his wife Rosalynn, to whom he has been married for 76 years
Carter is pictured here in 2018 on the first day of Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter’s week-long work project
President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter dance at a 1977 White House Convention Ball. The couple celebrated 76 years of marriage earlier this year
Carter with his wife Rosalynn and their daughter Amy at the Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, in 1976. Last year Carter said he would not have made it to become president by the time he was 80 and seemed the age of Joe Biden and Donald Attacking Trump before the election
Both during and after his presidency, he became known as an international advocate for human rights.
Carter was at the forefront of brokering the Camp David Accords between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1978.
He saw the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis and the first efforts to develop energy independence policies.
His decision in 1980 to authorize a military rescue of American hostages in Iran contributed to his re-election defeat that year.
Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 after founding the Carter Center to advance human rights around the world.
Jimmy Carter photographed at his peanut farm in Plains, Georgia in 1976
He has also spent time after his presidency building Habitat for Humanity homes and writing more than two dozen books.
In 2015, Carter was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, which was discovered in his liver and spread to his brain.
About six months after the diagnosis, Carter announced that he no longer needed cancer treatment, in part because of a breakthrough drug that trains the immune system to fight cancerous tumors.
He was hospitalized for dehydration two years later while building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Canada.
The next day he was back at the construction site.
Carter has also traveled the world for elections and worked with the Carter Center to eradicate disease.
The center began eradicating Guinea worm disease in 1986, affecting 3.5 million people.
Last year, it was just 54, according to the Atlanta Journal constitution.
In Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala, the center established a river blindness eradication program that helped eradicate the disease.
Although Carter resigned from the public eye due to ill health, he remained a silent force in politics at home and through his post-presidential center on public health and human rights defense around the world.
Although Carter remained neutral in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, he took calls and visits from several candidates.
The pair recorded audio addresses for the virtual Democratic National Convention calling for the election of candidate Joe Biden, who was a young senator from Delaware when Carter won the presidency in 1976.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill visited Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter at their home in Plains, Georgia in May 2021
Jimmy Carter waves to the crowd on the floor at the 1980 Democratic National Convention
President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan meet with former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter at the Carter Center in October 1986
Carter, a World War II veteran, prides himself on the fact that the US was not involved in any foreign wars during his tenure. He is pictured here with his wife (left) and running mate Walter and his wife Joan Mondale after accepting the Democratic nomination for president at the DNC in New York City in 1977
“Joe Biden was my first and most effective supporter in the Senate,” Carter told the convention.
“For decades he has been my faithful and devoted friend.”
Carter also gained renewed attention following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Carter is the only president since 1850 who has not made a single Supreme Court nomination.
But he has transformed the lower courts with a record number of nominations from women and non-white lawyers – most notably Ginsburg.
In 1980, Carter Ginsburg, then the nation’s most accomplished civil rights attorney, elected to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is considered the nation’s second highest court.
She was the second woman to nominate Carter for the DC Circuit, which set her up for a promotion to the Supreme Court 13 years later.
“He looked around the federal judiciary and said, ‘You all look like me, but that’s not what the great United States looks like,'” Ginsburg said at a 2016 forum at Fordham University Law School.
Then-Democratic vice presidential nominee Walter Mondale (left) and presidential nominee Jimmy Carter, pictured in 1976, speak to reporters during their 1976 campaign
The former president announced that he voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary but did not endorse anyone in the 2020 Democratic primary
Carter, a World War II veteran, said that presidents feed the cycle of entering war, in part because “we make heroes out of wartime commanders.” Pictured meeting Robert Mugabe
Perhaps most notable of Carter’s electoral maneuvers in 2020 is the Carter Center calling the United States a “breakaway” democracy for the first time.
The center announced after the Democratic convention that it would devote resources to ensuring free and fair US elections.
The Carters founded the center in 1982, two years after he lost his re-election bid to Reagan.
The center has monitored more than 110 elections in 39 countries since 1989, but it was a notable development for the institution to focus on Carter’s home country.
In a statement from the Carter Center explaining the decision to monitor a U.S. election, a Carter Center statement said that “relapsed” democracies “are often characterized by polarization, lack of public trust, ethnic or racial divisions, and injustice and concerned that election results will not be viewed as credible or may provoke violence”.
Carter remained neutral in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. He took calls and visits from several candidates in May 2019, including Pete Buttigieg (pictured).
Carter had warned Democrats against going too far left in the upcoming 2020 election
Siding with Biden over Trump was not surprising for a former Democratic president, but it means Carter is ignoring one of his own recent observations about the presidency.
Weeks before his 95th birthday, Carter alluded to the advanced age of several candidates.
“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter said jovially at his town hall when asked if he would run again.
Then he became more serious: “If I were only 80 years old, if I were 15 years younger, I don’t think I could take on the tasks that I experienced as president.”
Only a handful of past presidents have lived past 90, including Reagan, Carter’s successor, who lived to be 93.
America’s founding President George Washington died in April 1789, almost three years after leaving office, at the age of 57 years and 67 days, becoming the youngest former President.
The announcement of Carter’s condition comes just a day after a US Naval Academy building was renamed in his honor.
The building was named after a Confederate Navy leader.
On Friday, it was renamed in honor of Carter, who graduated from the academy in 1946.
The decision to rename the Engineering Building at Annapolis came after a commission appointed by Congress determined that several military assets across all branches of the service had to be renamed due to Confederate ties.
Named Maury Hall, the building was constructed in the early 1900s and named for Matthew Fontaine Maury, a naval officer and scientist who aligned with the Confederates.
The home of the Naval Academy Superintendent and a nearby street are named for Franklin Buchanan, the Academy’s first superintendent who joined the Confederate Navy at the beginning of the Civil War. The academy is also renaming the house and street, but has yet to announce those changes.
Carter did not attend the ceremony, but some of his relatives did.
“It’s impossible to overstate what this academy and the Navy meant to my grandfather and, by extension, to my family,” said Josh Carter, Jimmy Carter’s grandson, in a Navy press release.