Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Life After the Presidency

To many people, Jimmy Carter has provided Americans with an ideal model of post-presidential life. In fact, some consider him to be the nation's greatest former President. He has emerged as a champion of human rights and worked for several charitable causes. To that end, Carter founded the Carter Presidential Center at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The center, began in 1982, is devoted to issues relating to democracy and human rights. Additionally, Carter worked with Habitat for Humanity International, an organization that works worldwide to provide housing for underprivileged people. Through such projects, Carter has maintained a high profile; he is often seen on television, helping with Habitat home construction or providing his opinions on the issues of the day.

As a President who was deeply embroiled in foreign crises during his term in office, Carter has taken opportunities to apply his experiences and knowledge on the world stage. Carter has served as a freelance ambassador for a variety of international missions, including soothing disputes between countries, observing elections in nations with histories of fraudulent voting processes, and advising presidents on Middle East issues. He has been involved in mediating disputes between the U.S. State Department and the most volatile of foreign leaders, including Kim Il Sung of North Korea and Muammar Qaddaffi of Libya. In 1994, the former president assisted the U.S. government settle a tension-filled nuclear weapons dispute with North Korea.

In his post-presidential life, Carter has also written several books, including Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President (1983), Turning Point (1992), and An Hour Before Daylight (2001).