‘God Bless a Great American’ | More than 9,400 well wishes sent to Jimmy Carter

The nation’s 39th president continues receiving hospice care at his Plains, Georgia, home
The topic of what hospice care actually is has come to the forefront after Jimmy Carter's recent health struggles.
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 8:57 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 at 9:12 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - In the more than a week since former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care at his Plains, Georgia, home, he has received more than 9,400 well wishes.

According to The Carter Center, that number is continuing to rise.

The nation’s oldest living ex-president celebrated his 98th birthday last year.

Here’s a sampling of some of the messages and the website to which messages can be posted:

  • You have inspired me at every stage of my life, and you encouraged me when I spoke my dream to you. I thank you, and I bless your name. Go with God, sir.
  • We love you, President Carter. You are an honorable man. Peace and love to you and your family. Thank you for all of your service to our country and the whole world.
  • Thank you for your lifelong selfless service to our country. You and your dear wife, Rosalynn, are an inspiration to all mankind. My best wishes to you and your family.
  • God Bless a Great American.
  • Thank you for all you have done for the world! You have changed countless lives and made a difference for us Americans.
  • As a 27-year old, I never knew you as President, nevertheless you have had a profound impact on my life through your selflessness, your generosity, and your humility.
  • I was too young to vote for you, but my mom took me along to Democratic events in Missouri. I saw Walter Mondale. Thank you for being a leader, a public servant and a great example to us all.

The longest-lived American president is garnering accolades and well-wishes from across the world — from other public leaders and admirers he’s never met — as well as from family and friends in his hometown, where he and his wife are known as “Mr. Jimmy” and “Ms. Rosalynn.”

Last week, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones offered a moment of silence for Carter and his family while the state Senate was in session.

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News of Carter’s condition prompted an uptick in visitors to Plains, a town of about 700 with just a few blocks of retail businesses along the railroad tracks that run by Carter’s 1976 presidential headquarters.

Carter was born on October 1, 1924, to the parents of Earl and Lillian Carter in Plains. In 1941, after graduating from Plains High, he enrolled at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus. One year later, he transferred to Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and in 1943, he received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

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After receiving his naval commission, Carter married Rosalynn Smith of Plains on July 7, 1946, after which they moved to Norfolk, Virginia.

Carter served as a naval officer from 1946 to 1952. Lt. Carter resigned from the navy after his father, Earl Carter, died from cancer and took over Carter’s family peanut farm.

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Carter was appointed to his first public office in 1954 when he accepted an appointment to the Sumter County Board of Education. In 1962, he was elected as a state senator, and in 1966, ran for governor but lost to Lester Maddox in an election so close it was thrown into the state House of Representatives to be decided.

In 1971, Carter ran again for governor and won, becoming the state’s 6th governor on January 12, 1971.

Carter announced his intention to seek the White House in 1974. On Nov. 2, 1976, Carter was elected the 39th president of the United States, narrowly defeating incumbent Gerald Ford.

Some of the more notable events of Carter’s presidency included:

  • 1977: The Panama Canal treaty is signed which turned control of the canal over to the Panamanian government.
  • 1978: The U.S. and the Peoples’ Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations. Carter negotiates and mediates an accord between Egypt and Israel at Camp David.
  • 1979: The Department of Education is formed. Iranian radicals overrun the U.S. Embassy and seize American hostages. The Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty is signed.
  • 1980: The Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act is signed. A rescue attempt to get American hostages out of Iran is unsuccessful.

Also in 1980, Carter was defeated in his bid for a second term as president by Ronald Reagan in November. Two years later, the Carters established The Carter Center in Atlanta.

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In Plains, the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site was established in 1987. The National Historic Site includes the Depot Museum, Plains High School Museum, and the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm.

Carter is the author of thirty-two books, many of which are now in revised editions, including “Why Not the Best?,” “Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President,” “The Blood of Abraham: Insights into the Middle East;” “An Outdoor Journal: Adventures and Reflections;” and “The Hornet’s Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War.”

In 1982, Carter became a university distinguished professor at Emory University in Atlanta. The Carter Center has spearheaded the international effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease, which is poised to be the second human disease in history to be eradicated.

A look back on President Jimmy Carter’s time in the Oval Office

Carter and the center have engaged in conflict mediation in Ethiopia and Eritrea (1989), North Korea (1994), Liberia (1994), Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1994), Sudan (1995), the Great Lakes region of Africa (1995-96), Sudan and Uganda (1999), Venezuela (2002-2003), Nepal (2004-2008), Ecuador and Colombia (2008), the Middle East (2003-present), and Mali (2018-present).

Until 2020, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter volunteered one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He also taught Sunday school in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains.

In August 2015, Carter had a small cancerous mass removed from his liver. The following year, Carter announced that he needed no further treatment, as an experimental drug had eliminated any sign of cancer.

RELATED: Larger-than-life busts of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter installed at Carter Center

On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.