Carter officially became the oldest living ex-president on March 21, 2019, when he surpassed the previous record-holder George H.W. Bush.
Former United States President and America's very own Mr. Unstoppable - Jimmy Carter is adding another calendar year to an already-remarkable life today as he turns 96-years-old. The highly-respected and beloved politician and his wife, Rosalynn, are said to have planned a quiet day together this year, according to a spokeswoman for the Carter Center in Atlanta. The couple — who are the longest-married presidential couple in American history — have sequestered themselves in their home in Plains in light of the pandemic and will therefore be forgoing the annual birthday party that is thrown by the town, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Carter officially became the oldest living ex-president on March 21, 2019, when he surpassed the previous record-holder George H.W. Bush. He was elected the 39th U.S. president in 1976 at age 52 and served in office from 1977-1981. As The Washington Post points out, despite having largely receded from public view amid the Coronavirus pandemic and his own health challenges, Carter — who is inarguably the nation's most active ex-president in history — remains a force to be reckoned with American politics. He made a strong case for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during the Democratic National Convention in August, explaining why he will be voting for the former Vice President in the upcoming election.
Jimmy Carter, America’s oldest living president ever, turning 96 https://t.co/L7b3zPGZVf— AJC (@ajc) September 30, 2020
"When I ran for president in 1976, Joe Biden was my first and most effective supporter in the Senate. For decades, he has been my loyal and dedicated friend," President Carter said in a previously recorded audio address. "Joe has the experience, character, and decency to bring us together and restore America’s greatness. We deserve a person with integrity and judgment, someone who is honest and fair, someone who is committed to what is best for the American people. Joe is that kind of leader, and he is the right person for this moment in our nation’s history."
Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter deliver a message in support of Joe Biden at the #DemConvention.— ABC News (@ABC) August 19, 2020
“Joe has the experience, character and decency to bring us together, to restore America’s greatness.” https://t.co/g2aifw44ZR #DemConvention pic.twitter.com/xqrT4dot7S
Carter, also recently gained attention following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom he had appointed as a federal judge in 1980. Although he is the only president since 1850 to not have made a single Supreme Court nomination, President Carter played a crucial role in reshaping the lower courts with a record number of nominations of women and non-white jurists. "He looked around at the federal judiciary and he said, 'You all look like me, but that's not how the great United States looks,'" the late Justice Ginsburg said to a Fordham University Law School forum in 2016.
The former President released a moving statement following the death of the Justice on September 18, in which he said: "Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A powerful legal mind and a staunch advocate for gender equality, she has been a beacon of justice during her long and remarkable career. I was proud to have appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980. We join countless Americans in mourning the loss of a truly great woman. We will keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Gwen Ifill in 2016:— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 25, 2020
"When I graduated from law school in 1959, there wasn't a single woman on any federal bench. It wouldn't be a realistic ambition for a woman to want to become a federal judge. It wasn't realistic until Jimmy Carter became our president" pic.twitter.com/Heyexej2hj
Meanwhile, those wishing to send President Carter a special birthday wish on his big day can do so by submitting their messages and photos on the Carter Center's special board. The Carter Center, the not-for-profit organization founded by the Carters in 1982, encouraged fans to send in their prayers and thoughts in a tweet yesterday, writing: "President Carter's birthday is TOMORROW! Our hearts are full with the kind and inspiring messages from around the world. Join the fun and send him a birthday wish on the below birthday board." Happy birthday, President Carter! You will forever remain one of the best America has had the honor of having at its helm.