Jimmy Carter (1924– ) was the thirty-ninth president of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981. Carter served as a Democrat in the Georgia state senate and as governor of that state before he announced his run for the presidency in 1974. Carter positioned himself as an upstanding Washington outsider in the wake of the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation. In 1976, he defeated Nixon’s successor, Republican Gerald Ford, to win the presidency. As president, Carter faced overwhelming domestic and foreign problems, including economic decline, the energy crisis, the disaster at Three Mile Island, and the taking of American hostages in Iran. Carter’s economic reform and deregulatory measures met resistance in Congress, and his administration was widely viewed as ineffective. In the presidential election of 1980, he was easily defeated by Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. After leaving office, Carter served as a diplomat and a leading proponent of international peace and human rights, and he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

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