Below are many interesting personal facts about the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, courtesy of the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.
The Basic Facts
- Birthdate: October 1, 1924, 7:00 a.m., in Plains, Georgia.
- Full Name: James Earl Carter, Jr.
- Nickname: Hot
- Years in Office: 1977–1981
- Party: Democrat
- Vice President: Walter F. Mondale
- First Lady: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith
- Children: John, James Earl III, Jeffrey, Amy
- Nickname: Hot
- Fast Fact: The first president born in a hospital.
- Height: 5 feet, 9 1/2 inches tall.
- Eye Color: Blue.
- Hair Color: Light brown/gray.
- Hat Size: 7 (but he doesn't wear hats).
- Music: Likes a wide variety of classical, bluegrass, country, and folk music, including favorites Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Regularly attends ballet, opera, and symphonic concerts.
- Favorite Hymns: "Amazing Grace," "Blest Be the Tie That Binds," and "The Navy Hymn."
Sports and Hobbies
- Played basketball at Plains High School.
- Ran cross-country and played under-140 lb. football at Annapolis.
- Life-long tennis player (the family had a dirt court on the farm when he was a child).
- Plays softball and billiards, bowls, fishes, hunts (especially wild turkey, quail, and dove).
- Rode a motorcycle before entering politics.
- To keep in shape, rides a bicycle, jogs, and plays tennis.
- Dances with Rosalynn.
- Collects bottles and arrowheads.
- Reads 3 to 4 books a week, and has taken a speed-reading course.
- Has paddled canoes, kayaks, and rafts many times on Georgia rivers.
- Panned for gold successfully in North Georgia.
- Sometimes watches television for recreation.
- Has taken a memory retention course.
- Favorite spectator sport is baseball.
Food and Meals
- Breakfast: Usually orange juice, coffee, fruit, and cereal. Sometimes pancakes.
- Lunch: A sandwich, cup of soup, and small salad.
- Dinner: Varies depending on the occasion.
- Snacks: Fresh fruit.
- Favorite Foods: Sirloin steak, medium rare. Any kind of fish or poultry. Corn bread. Any vegetables except beans. Salad with Roquefort dressing. Frozen yogurt.
- First Car: 1948 Studebaker "Commander." Drove it cross-country in 1948.
- Favorite Color: Blue.
- Favorite Gift to Receive (as a youth): Books.
- Favorite Books: "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" by James Agee and "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy (considers it to be "one of" his favorite books).
- Favorite Poets: Dylan Thomas, Miller Williams
- Favorite Spots: Cumberland Island, off the southeast Georgia coast (one of his favorite spots).
- North Georgia mountains. Any trout stream.
"Crimes and Punishment" as a Youth
- Stole a penny from the collection plate at church when he was five years old; was punished by his father.
- Shot his sister Gloria "in the rear end" with a BB gun after she threw a wrench at him; was punished by his father.
- Was denied being selected high school class Valedictorian because he played hooky and went to a movie.
- At Annapolis, Midshipman Carter was paddled and hazed for refusing to sing General Sherman's battle hymn, "Marching Through Georgia."
Influential People in Carter's Life
- Rosalynn Carter: "Rosalynn is probably the most influential person in my life."
- Father, James Earl Carter, Sr.: "He was my best friend."
- Mother, Lillian Gordy Carter: "My mother was compassionate, dynamic, humorous, inquisitive in her attitude about life."
- Charles Kirbo: "Going to see Charles Kirbo was probably one of the smartest things I ever did in my life."
- Julia Coleman: The superintendent of the Plains schools, she encouraged him to learn more about music, art and literature.
- Admiral Hyman Rickover: "Hyman Rickover is by any measure a remarkable man."
- President Harry Truman: "Harry Truman is my favorite president and the one I admire most."
Noted Quotes by Philosophers and Poets
The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world.
— Reinhold Niebuhr
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.
The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
A hand rules pity as hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.
— Dylan Thomas
Favorite Bible Quote
Revelation 3:20: Behold I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.