Jimmy Carter’s Family: His Parents, Siblings & Kids

jimmy carter parents

Getty Jimmy Carter's family includes wife Rosalynn and four kids.

Jimmy Carter’s family includes his wife of 76 years, Rosalynn, their four children and at least 25 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, according to The Carter Center.

The Carter Center wrote on February 18, 2023, that Jimmy Carter was receiving hospice care at his home in Plains, Georgia.

“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,”the Carter Center wrote on February 18, 2023.

“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.”

Here’s what you need to know about Jimmy Carter’s family:

1. Jimmy Carter, Who Married His Wife Rosalynn in 1946, Once Said That He Picked ‘the Right Woman’

jimmy rosalynn carter death nobel peace prize

GettyJimmy and Rosalynn smooch it up in Plains in 2002.

The Carter marriage is well-known for its longevity; as of February 2023, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter had been married for more than 76 years, according to his Carter Center biography, which says Jimmy Carter married Rosalynn Smith, of Plains, Georgia, on July 7, 1946.

Jimmy Carter spoke about his wife and marriage in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper in 2015. “Well, yesterday was our anniversary as a matter of fact,” Carter told Tapper.

Carter said that his marriage to Rosalynn “has been the foundation for my entire enjoyment of life. And we have just had, first of all, it’s best to choose the right woman, which I did, and secondly we give each other space to do our own things.”

Carter explained to Tapper that he and his wife “try to be reconciled before we go to sleep at night, and try to find everything we can think of that we like to do together. So, we have a lot of good times.”

2. Jimmy Carter & His Wife Had 4 Children Together, Raising Daughter Amy in the White House

amy carter wedding

GettyAmy Carter Weds Jim Wentzel. From L-R: Jimmy, Rosalyn, Amy Carter, Jim, Judy, And Jim Wentzel. September 1, 1996, Plains, Georgia.

In the 2015 interview with Tapper, Carter said, “We have a big family now. We have 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 38 of us in all. So, we try to hold our family together and just enjoy the family life.”

However, his White House biography says the Carter family had grown even larger by 2023.

“The Carters have three sons, John William (Jack), James Earl III (Chip), Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff), and a daughter, Amy Lynn,” the White House biography for Jimmy Carter says.

According to the Carter presidential library, “The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons (one deceased), three granddaughters, five great-grandsons, and eight great-granddaughters.”

In 2006, Carter’s son, Jack Carter, won the Democratic primary in Nevada to challenge U.S. Senator John Ensign, according to NBC News, but he lost the general election. In 2005, The Boston Globe described Jack Carter, the eldest son, as “an equities investor who lives with his wife in fast-growing northwest Las Vegas.”

Donnel Carter’s wife Annette died at age 68 in 2021, according to an essay their son, Josh Carter, wrote for Unchanging Principles. In it, he wrote that his parents were married for 46 years, worked together on Carter’s presidential campaign, lived for a time in the White House, and had three sons together, Jeremy, Josh and James.

According to People Magazine, Chip Carter was married three times, to Caron Griffin, with whom he had a son, and to Ginger Hodges, with whom he had a daughter. According to People Magazine, today he is married to Becky Payne and lives in Decatur, Georgia.

People reported that Chip Carter worked in the family’s peanut warehouse and for the Democratic National Committee and once served on the Plains City Council. He also ran Friendship Force, “an international exchange program that his parents co-founded,” People reported, adding that Chip once smoked pot on the White House roof with singer Willie Nelson.

The Carter’s daughter Amy was most in the public eye because she was 9 when her father became president, according to ABC News. The nation enjoyed watching her childhood antics.

Today, online records show that Amy Carter lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s worked as a book illustrator and election observer for the Carter Center but today maintains a private profile.

According to an Associated Press article in 1996, Amy Carter, married computer consultant James Wentzel. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Carter, in 2000, was living a “quiet life in Atlanta” with James Wentzel and their son, Hugo James Wentzel, who was then 7 months old. Today, according to online records, Hugo James Wentzel is 23 and also lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

3. Jason Carter, One of Carter’s Grandsons, Tweeted That the Carter Home Was ‘Full of Love’ as His Grandfather Entered Hospice Care

Jason Carter, one of Jimmy Carter’s grandsons, tweeted, “I saw both of my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and—as always—their home is full of love. Thank you all for your kind words.”

As a lawyer, Jason Carter represented the National Football League Players Association, according to People Magazine. Jason Carter once ran unsuccessfully for Georgia governor, according to Politico.

Carter’s grandson, James Carter IV, has worked in politics, including digging up a video on Republican Mitt Romney, according to Intelligencer.

Another of Carter’s grandsons, Jeremy Carter, died young, according to a blog post written by his grandson Josh Carter. “My brother Jeremy Davis Carter died last night. 2:00 AM. As I’m writing this, about 6 hours ago. He was only 28 years old,” Josh Carter wrote on JC woodworking.

“Jeremy was in Trauma 1 in the ER. He was not responsive,” Josh Carter wrote. “His temperature was low. His organs were not working. He was bleeding. He was yellow. I find out later that he had a heart attack at home while alone in the kitchen with our mom, my dear mother had to give him CPR until the paramedics came, and they took him to the ER.”

Josh Carter has hosted a podcast.

4. Jimmy Carter’s Father Was a Farmer & His Mother Was a Nurse

According to Carter’s Carter Center biography, James Earl Carter, Jr., better known as Jimmy Carter, was born on October 1, 1924, in “the small farming town of Plains, Georgia.”

His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., “was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse,” the bio says.

According to the bio, Carter “was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.”

Carter was then a submariner in the Navy, helped run the family farm when his dad died, and eventually entered local and then state government in Georgia, becoming Georgia’s governor. On December 12, 1974, the bio says, “he announced his candidacy for president of the United States.”

5. Jimmy Carter’s Brother, 2 Sisters & Father All Died of Pancreatic Cancer

Many people remember Carter’s younger brother, Billy Carter, who caused controversies during his brother’s presidency. Billy Carter died in 1988 at age 51 of pancreatic cancer, according to The Washington Post.

“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 the Post, Carter’s sister Ruth Carter Stapleton also died of pancreatic cancer in her 50s.

In 1990, Carter’s sister, Gloria Carter Spann, of Plains, died at 63 of pancreatic cancer, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

That article says that pancreatic cancer “was a contributing factor in the death of Mrs. Spann’s mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, in October 1983.” CNN reported that Carter’s mother had breast cancer that moved to her pancreas.

READ NEXT: Jimmy Carter Receiving Hospice Care.

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