Former President Jimmy Carter turns 96 years old on Thursday and continues to add to his record as the oldest living president.
Carter planned to celebrate at his home in Plains, Georgia, with his wife of 74 years, Rosalynn Carter, according to a spokeswoman for the Carter Center in Atlanta.
The Carter Center, the not-for-profit organization founded by the Carters nearly 40 years ago, is encouraging people to post a birthday message.
President Carter's birthday is TOMORROW! Our hearts are full with the kind and inspiring messages from around the world.— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) September 30, 2020
Join the fun and send him a birthday wish on the below birthday board. https://t.co/g1q3FPXE08 pic.twitter.com/qtJi1hX1mq
Hundreds have already posted greetings, many with references to his years of service or meeting Carter when he was teaching Sunday school at his church in Plains, which he continued to do regularly until he took a series of falls in 2019. He previously survived a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015.
Carter had been a Naval officer, peanut farmer Georgia senator and Georgia governor when he was elected president in 1976.
In the four decades since Carter left office, he has embraced the role of an outspoken human rights advocate who was willing to criticize the world’s establishment institutions and accepted world order. He has not been shy about giving his opinion to the presidents who followed him -- sometimes solicited, sometimes not.
As recently as June, when the protests calling for racial justice spread across the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Carter jumped into the fray, issuing a statement that “silence can be as deadly as violence.” While he made no direct mention of President Donald Trump’s handling of the protests and the racial unrest that has fueled them, Carter said: “We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than this.”
Not too many presidents have lived into their 90s. George H.W. Bush was 94 when he died in 2018. John Adams, Herbert Hoover, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford also lived past their 90th birthdays.