Oct 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Jimmy Carter turns 99, as celebrations pour in from around the world

A wooden cake honoring the 99th birthday of former President Jimmy Carter is seen on the north lawn of the White House on Sept. 30. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter, who has been in hospice care since February, on Sunday became the first U.S. president to turn 99.

Driving the news: Carter is celebrating his birthday at his home in Plains, Ga., with his wife, Rosalynn, and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

  • Workers set up a wooden cake display on the North Lawn of the White House Saturday.
  • The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta hosted his birthday party on Saturday, a day earlier than expected, to avoid any threats from the potential government shutdown.
  • Since the announcement, Congress was able to delay a government shutdown until at least November.
A boy writes a birthday message on a window of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta on Saturday. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters
  • Thousands of people from around the world have wished Carter a happy birthday via the Carter Center.
  • The display of birthday wishes, memories and greetings comes together to reveal a mosaic of Carter.

The birthday messages have also been pouring in from political leaders, including President Biden, who has built an enduring friendship together with Carter.

  • "Mr. President, Happy Birthday, pal. I've known a lot of presidents as you have, but I admire you because you have such incredible integrity, character and determination," Biden said in a post Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
  • "One of the smartest things I ever did, you may remember, I was the first Senator who ever endorsed you because I knew who you were," Biden said.

Former President Obama also wished Carter a Happy Birthday on X on Sunday, saying the now 99-year-old has "inspired so many people around the world with [his] leadership, character, and commitment to service."

  • "Michelle and I hope you have a wonderful birthday and send our best wishes to you and Rosalynn," Obama added.

Flashback: Carter made a rare public appearance at the Plains Peanut Festival in their hometown in late September.

  • Carter had not been seen in public for months after he entered hospice care in February.

Zoom out: Carter was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in 2015, but was later declared cancer-free after undergoing treatment.

  • Rosalynn, who has dementia, celebrated her 96th birthday in August with peanut butter ice cream and cupcakes.
  • The two have been married for 77 years.

Go deeper: How Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden built an enduring friendship

Go deeper