Mini Page Heroes: Jimmy Carter
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter brought two world leaders to Camp David, the presidential vacation home: Anwar Sadat (sahDOT), the president of Egypt, and Menachem Begin (BAY-gin), the prime minister of Israel.
The two Middle Eastern countries had been at war for more than 30 years. Many people, including children, had been killed in battle and by acts of terrorism. But Carter believed that if he could get Sadat and Begin to talk face-to-face, they could begin to work out their problems.
Touching their hearts
The Israeli leader had requested autographed pictures of the three men together. He wanted them for his grandchildren. President Carter had his secretary find out the names of the kids, and he personalized each photo.
When Begin was handed the pictures, he thanked the president. Then he looked at the autographs and read his grandchildren’s names.
The tough old leader’s eyes filled with tears. The sight of those names led him to talk about the special people in his life and about the terrible effects of war on children.
After that, the tone of the talks turned around, and a settlement was reached. In 2002, President Carter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
A simple beginning
James Earl Carter Jr. was born on Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. His dad owned a general store and bought some farmland in Archery, where as a teenager Jimmy was given his own acre to grow peanuts.
Carter was a good student and was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1943. He married Rosalynn Smith in 1946, and they lived in many different states while he served on Navy submarines.
After his discharge from the Navy, Carter and his family worked to expand their peanutgrowing business.
Carter served as a Georgia state senator and as governor from 1971 to ’75, and in 1976 he was elected president.
Although he faced many challenges, as president Carter worked for human rights all around the world, for energy conservation, for educational programs and for environmental protection.
The Carter Center in Atlanta continues the former president’s work with teams of people who observe elections all over the world and try to resolve conflicts.
Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter and
Menachem Begin, at Camp David