While a president may be leaving the grand ol’ house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they may not necessarily be leaving behind the lavish lifestyle.
Since handing over the presidency to Ronald Reagan in 1981, Carter, currently, the oldest living former President, has led a relatively modest life.
Carter and his wife Rosalynn, 93, who will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this year, returned to the Plains, Georgia home they built in the 1960s after serving only one term.
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
James Earl Carter Jr. was born in Plains, Georgia on October 1, 1924.
Carter’s father was a wealthy businessman and farmer in Plains, a 600-person town. Carter’s mother was a nurse at Wise Sanitarium when he was born.
Aspired to join the military from 1937 to 1941. During WWI, he was a US Army Quartermaster.
He began at Georgia Southwestern. In 1943, he entered the Naval Academy after transferring to Georgia Tech.
Rosalynn knew him through Ruth.
The rest is history!
Carter graduated from the Naval Academy and they married.
Carter was assigned to either the Atlantic or Pacific fleets. For a few years, the young couple moved around the country.
A month before the Navy was to build its first nuclear-powered submarine, Carter’s father died of cancer.
Despite the difficulty of the decision, Carter left the Navy as a lieutenant to continue his family’s peanut farming business.
He and Rosalynn had three kids when they moved back to Plains.
In 1961, Carter built a ranch-style home for their growing family (their fourth child was born in 1967).
The $209,996 home was ideal for the Carters before Jimmy got into politics. It suited them after he left politics.
After leaving the White House, there’s no need to buy a new house or sign multimillion-dollar book deals. He went back to Plains, Georgia.
According to the Washington Post, he returned home to avoid “profiting financially from his presidency.”
That’s right. He struggled to get back into the peanut business. He had to sell his $1 million company.
His more than a dozen books and his $217,000 annual pension allow him and his wife to live comfortably.
His clothes were bought at Dollar General in 2011. For when he’s on the road, he prefers commercial flights to private planes.
Every one of them got a million dollars from the tax payers.
Other members of Carter’s family have gone on to serve on advisory boards, speak at conferences, and live somewhat celebrity lives.
Carter began teaching at Emory University soon after leaving office. He got tenure after 37 years.
He also taught at Maranatha Baptist. In 2019, he had surgery for a subdural hematoma, which caused him to miss class.
Former President Kennedy has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for many years. He has helped renovate 4,300 homes in 14 countries.
Rosalynn claims the Carters did the renovations themselves because they knew what they were doing from building houses with Habitat for Humanity.
Aside from helping others, Carter enjoys relaxing at home or with friends, eating delicious meals on paper plates, and walking around town with Rosalynn.
Carter returned to his roots after four years of what some might call a glorious life.