Jimmy Carter was born on October 1st, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, he joined the Navy, where he served on submarines. Later in life, Carter would take over his family peanut farm, helping expand and grow the business. It was during this time that Carter became increasingly sympathetic to the civil rights movement, eventually becoming an activist within the Democratic Party.
From 1963 to 1967, Carter served in the Georgia State Senate. In 1970, he was elected Governor of Georgia, running on an anti-segregation platform. In the 1976 Presidential Election, the little-known Carter defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford in a tight race.
Carter was president during a time of continuing inflation and recession, as well as an energy crisis, and remained polarizing throughout his tenure. However, it would be his work after retiring from office that would secure his legacy as one of America’s most passionate public servants.
In 1982, he established the Carter Center to promote and expand human rights. Carter has traveled all over the world to assist with peace negotiations, monitor elections, and to support disease prevention programs. He is a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity charity, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
Jimmy Carter has written numerous books of inspiration and poetry, and over the years he has given us many anecdotes of wit and wisdom. Here are a few of our favorite Jimmy Carter quotes.
Here Are 18 Memorable Jimmy Carter Quotes
On Human Rights:
“Human rights is the soul of our foreign policy, because human rights is the very soul of our sense of nationhood.”
“America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way round. Human rights invented America.”
“Our commitment to human rights must be absolute, our laws fair, our natural beauty preserved; the powerful must not persecute the weak, and human dignity must be enhanced.”
On Foreign Policy:
“History teaches, perhaps, very few clear lessons. But surely one such lesson learned by the world at great cost is that aggression, unopposed, becomes a contagious disease.”
“Ladies and gentlemen: War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.”
“It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus.”
On Life and Faith:
“In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns.”
“We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon.”
“It would be a fruitless search to look through the Scriptures and find one single instance where Jesus did not treat women either equal or superior to men.”
“Let us learn together and laugh together and work together and pray together, confident that in the end we will triumph together in the right.”
“We can meet the resource problems of the world — water, food, minerals, farmlands, forests, overpopulation, pollution — if we tackle them with courage and foresight.”
“Any system of economics is bankrupt if it sees either value or virtue in unemployment.”
“Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”
“We are a strong nation, and we will maintain strength so sufficient that it need not be proven in combat – a quiet strength based not merely on the size of an arsenal, but on the nobility of ideas. We will be ever vigilant and never vulnerable, and we will fight our wars against poverty, ignorance, and injustice – for those are the enemies against which our forces can be honorably marshaled.”
“Within our system of government every American has a right and duty to help shape the future course of the United States.”
“I do not despair for our country. I never do. I believe tonight, as I always have, that the essential decency and compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.”
“The love of liberty is a common blood that flows in our American veins.”
“I can’t deny I’m a better ex-president than I was a president.”
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