Jimmy Carter becomes longest-living American president

Jimmy CarterOn Jan. 20, 1977, Jimmy Carter took the Oath of Office. (C-SPAN)

Jimmy Carter — the 39th president of the United States — has recently celebrated multiple record-breaking milestones: the 40th anniversary of his inauguration was in 2017 and he joined George H.W. Bush as the only other president to reach 94 in October.

On Friday, at the age of 94 years and 172 days, Carter will also become the longest-living president in U.S. history.

Born on Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Ga., the typically cheery and humble former Navy lieutenant has had a life of service. Before taking office as president, he served as a state senator in Georgia and as governor.

His presidency — remembered for the Camp David accords, the Iran hostage crisis and creation of the Departments of Energy and Education — flamed out during the election of 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated him.

After leaving the White House in 1981, Carter, then 56, and his wife, Rosalynn, returned to their hometown in southern Georgia.

Carter remains engaged in the causes and activities that matter most, according to the Carter Center’s director of communications, Deanna Congileo: He participates in Carter Center programs in global peace and health and annual Habitat for Humanity builds, and he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, for work during and after his time in office. Carter also continues to teach Sunday school lessons and courses at Emory University.

“Both President and Mrs. Carter are determined to use their influence for as long as they can to make the world a better place. Their tireless resolve and heart have helped to improve life for millions of the world’s poorest people,” Congileo wrote in an email to The Post.

In 2015, Carter announced doctors had discovered a form of melanoma that spread to his brain.

“I just thought I had a few weeks left, but I was surprisingly at ease,” Carter said at a news conference that August. “I’ve had an exciting and adventurous and gratifying existence.”

He received his first radiation treatment at 90 years old. Four months later, he was — remarkably — cancer free.

Former president Jimmy Carter reflects on the “ease” he felt when learning his cancer had spread to his brain and on the best things he has done in his life. (AP)

Carter says he takes pride in having “always told the truth.” He also says he is proud that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “comported themselves with dignity, talked about issues that matter and presented a vision for our nation,” during the 2016 presidential election. Still, thinking back on more than 40 years, Carter told The Post in August that he “regrets not doing more to unify the Democratic Party.”

His 2016 message to the younger generation of voters was: “Stay engaged. Stay involved. And be sure to vote.”

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