PLAINS, Georgia (AP) – Former President Jimmy Carter, the oldest former U.S. CEO in history, will quietly celebrate his 97th birthday Friday at his home in southwest Georgia, an aide said.
Slowed down by age in recent years and keeping a low profile during the coronavirus pandemic, Carter does not plan any public appearances, said press secretary Deanna Congelio at the Carter Center in Atlanta.
Workers at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Tiny Plains recorded greetings for the former president, and members of the public can sign a birthday card online at www.cartercenter.org.
Dozens sent anticipated birthday greetings, and many didn’t even mention Carter’s Democratic presidency from 1977-81. Instead, they said they were inspired by Carter’s post-presidential life, which has included volunteer work, authorship of several books, advocating for justice and years of teaching. Sunday school.
“We love you for your honesty, consistency and for being so eloquent,” read a message. Many shared photos of themselves with Carter and his wife Rosalynn, who celebrated 75 years of marriage in July.
The former president was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain in 2015, but underwent treatment and announced that he was cancer free four months later. He has had a series of falls, including one that left him with a broken pelvis in October 2019, and has used a walker when he was in public most recently.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited the Carters at their home in April. “We sat down and talked about the old days,” Biden said of his predecessor.
A quiet birthday could be even bleaker as the family prepares for Carter’s daughter-in-law’s funeral. Annette Davis Carter, Jeff Carter’s wife, in Plains on Saturday. He died earlier this month at the age of 68.
Annette Carter’s service will be held at Maranatha Baptist Church, which the former president helped found and where the pastor regularly asks members to pray for the Carters.