5. Through the Carter Center, the former president launched a fight against Guinea worm disease, a devastating tropical infection that incapacitates its victims. The center has announced that the disease, which was estimated in 1986 to affect 3.5 million people, was reduced to 126 cases in 2014. It will likely become the first human disease eradicated since smallpox.
In this image released by the Carter Center, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, left, and his wife Rosalyn smile as they visit a polling station during the Palestinian parliamentary elections in Arab east Jerusalem Wednesday Jan. 25, 2006. Nearly 20,000 local observers and 950 international monitors, led by Carter, watched the vote. (AP Photo/Deborah Hakes, The Carter Center)
Credit: DEBORAH HAKES
Credit: DEBORAH HAKES
6. The Carter Center has also observed 100 elections in 38 countries – Carter himself has observed 39 -- to ensure fairness and to help establish and strengthen democracies. The first was in May 7, 1989, when Carter and former President Gerald Ford traveled to Panama. After that visit, Carter condemned dictator Manuel Noriega for refusing to allow free and open elections, and he called for “a worldwide outcry against a dictator who stole this election from his own people.”
7. Carter has long been associated with Habitat for Humanity, first working with it in March 1984 when he joined a work crew in building a home for a needy family in Americus. Habitat for Humanity has honored the former president’s efforts for the charity by holding an annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The next one, the 32nd, will take place Nov. 1-6 in Nepal to help that country recover from a massive earthquake.
8. Carter in 1998 was one of five activists from around the world to receive the United Nations' Human Rights Prize. The prize is only awarded every five years.
9. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 1999 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. government. President Bill Clinton, in presenting the medal, said, "Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have done more good things for more people in more places than any other couple on the face of the Earth."
10. Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”