Miller Center

Jimmy Carter: Family Life

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Of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's four children, three were grown by the time he became president. His daughter Amy lived with her parents at the White House and attended public schools in Washington. She was later admitted to Brown University.

The Carters were, by and large, unpretentious people. Much of the pomp and circumstance that had been a feature of previous administrations was frowned upon. Richard Nixon's huge presidential limousine was retired and replaced by a smaller one. The presidential yacht Sequoia was retired from service. Rosalynn Carter never bothered to commission her own china pattern for the executive mansion—a usual custom for First Ladies. And the Carters did not spend the full allowance an incoming President and his wife are given to refit the White House living quarters to their liking. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were also workaholics. They enjoyed weekends at Camp David, although even there, they tended to bring along "homework" and engage in policy and political discussions with key aides.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Robert A. Strong

Professor Strong is the William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University. He is also an associate editor of the White House Studies journal and has worked on the Presidential Oral History program at the Miller Center. His writings include:

Working in the World: Jimmy Carter and the Making of American Foreign Policy (Louisiana State University Press, 2000)

Decisions and Dilemmas: Case Studies in Presidential Foreign Policy Making (M.E. Sharpe, 2005)