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Jimmy Carter (American President)
Date of Birth:
October 1, 1924
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is the former thirty-ninth President of the United States from 1977 to 1981, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. Prior to becoming president, Carter served two terms in the Georgia Senate, and was the 76th Governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975.
Carter created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. He established a national energy policy, removed price controls from domestic petroleum production, but was unable to make the U.S. less reliant on foreign oil sources. In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties and the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks . Carter sought to put a stronger emphasis on human rights; he negotiated a peace between Israel and Egypt in 1979. His return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama was a major reversal of U.S. claims of influence over parts of Latin America dating to the Monroe doctrine, and Carter came under heavy criticism for it. The final year of his presidential tenure was marked by several major crises, including the 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Iran and holding of hostages by Iranian students, a failed rescue attempt of the hostages, serious fuel shortages, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. By 1980, Carter's disapproval ratings were significantly higher than his approval, and he was challenged by Ted Kennedy for the Democratic Party nomination in the 1980 election. Carter defeated Kennedy for the nomination, but lost the election to Republican Ronald Reagan. After leaving office, Carter founded an institute to promote global health, democracy and human rights. He has traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations and establish relief efforts; he is also a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity project. As of 2008, he is the earliest-serving living president and the second-oldest. Carter remains a relevant national figure today, and has been especially vocal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.