With word that former President Jimmy Carter, 98, was receiving hospice care, many people are wondering what happened to prominent members of Carter’s family, including where his younger brother, Billy Carter, is today.
Carter died in 1988 at age 51, and his cause of death was cancer, according to The Washington Post.
During Jimmy Carter’s presidency, his brother Billy Carter became a public figure in his own right due to his colorful personality and controversies. He even made the cover of Newsweek holding a can of beer known as “Billy Beer.”
Here’s what you need to know about Billy Carter:
Billy Carter Died of ‘Inoperable Cancer of the Pancreas,’ Reports Say
According to his obituary in the Washington Post, Billy Carter “died of cancer yesterday at his home in Plains,” Georgia.
“He was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the pancreas on Sept. 11, 1987, two days after he entered Emory University Hospital in Atlanta,” the Post reported.
According to that obituary, Billy Carter “began an experimental treatment at the National Cancer Institute, where he was treated with the drug interleukin-2,” but then he asked to be sent home to spend time with his family.
Billy Carter’s full name was William Alton Carter III, according to Britannica, which reported that he was a peanut farmer and “proprietor of ‘Billy Carter’s filling station’ in Plains, Georgia.
According to Britannica, Billy Carter “delighted in embellishing his image as a ‘beer-drinking good ol’ boy,'” even hiring an agent and charging for public appearances.
However, Carter caused controversy for his presidential brother when he “became an apologist for Libya and in 1980 when evidence came to light that he had agreed ‘under protest’ to register as a Libyan agent and admitted receiving $220,000 from the government of Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi,” Britannica reported.
It was later determined that his behavior “had no influence on U.S. policy,” Britannica noted, but he later had to auction off his home.
The Carter Brothers’ Father & 2 Sisters Also Died of Pancreatic Cancer
According to The Post, the brothers’ father James Earl Carter, and sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton, “died of pancreatic cancer in their 50s.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Carter’s other sister, Gloria Spann, also died of pancreatic cancer, and their mother’s death was in part due to pancreatic cancer (according to CNN, her breast cancer moved to her pancreas.)
Jimmy Carter also had own cancer battles. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, but he said he was cancer-free, according to The American Association for Cancer Research, which wrote that, just four months “after former President Jimmy Carter announced he had metastatic melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain, the nonagenarian said he is cancer-free following radiation therapy and treatment with a cancer immunotherapy.”
A series of short hospital stays led to hospice care, the Carter Center wrote on February 18, 2023.
“After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention. He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers,” a statement from the Carter Center read on February 18, 2023.
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