After Jimmy Carter left office in 1981 at the age of 56, a friend pointed out to him that he could live until he was 80 years-old. “I had one disturbing reaction. What was I going to do with the next 25 years?” Carter wrote in his book, “The Virtues of Aging.”
Carter, who has now become the longest-living president in the history of the U.S. has accomplished a lot since then, according to AJC. He’s been awarded the Nobel Prize, he’s established the Carter Center and built homes for Habitat for Humanity, and he has written over two dozen books.
March 22, 2019 is not Carter’s birthday, but it is the day that he became the longest living president in U.S. history. George H.W. Bush died when he was 94 years and 171 days old. Carter is now 94 and 172 days old.
“We at the Carter Center sure are rooting for him and are grateful for his long life of service that has benefited millions of the world’s poorest people,” the center said in a statement.
When Carter was elected to be president in 1976, he was only 52-years-old. He was the 17th youngest elected president in history.
“What could possibly be good about growing old? The most obvious answer, of course, is to consider the alternative to aging,” Carter wrote in 1998. “But there are plenty of other good answers — many based on our personal experiences and observations.”
After losing the presidency to Ronald Reagan in 1980, Carter started the Carter Center in Atlanta, which advances human rights and promotes democracy. Carter worked with the center to eradicate diseases and do other good works, and his efforts were recognized in 2002, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
‘As we’ve grown older,” Carter wrote of himself and wife Rosalynn, “the results have been surprisingly good.”