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Jimmy Carter Sets New Record for Longest-Living President as He Turns 98 Years Old


Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Jimmy Carter

On his 98th birthday, Jimmy Carter has once again set a new record as the longest-living United States president.

He's held the title since March of 2019, months after the previous title holder — President George H.W. Bushdied at the age of 94.

RELATED: On Jimmy Carter's 98th Birthday, His Charity — and Grandson — Honor Former President's Legacy: 'Awe-Inspiring'

President Carter may have only led the nation for four years, but in the four decades that have followed his White House tenure, he's managed to leverage his place in history to help others both domestically and abroad. The Carter Center, founded by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in 1982, has been aiding in a wide range of humanitarian efforts for 40 years now.

Jason Carter, grandson of the former first couple who currently serves as president of the Carter Center board of trustees, tells PEOPLE he's not surprised that his grandfather would still be politically engaged as he approaches 100 years old.

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"As the longest-living president in U.S. history, President Jimmy Carter has had a remarkable life of service that deserves worldwide celebration," said Paige Alexander, the Carter Center CEO, in a statement.

On a digital bulletin board created by the Carter Center team to celebrate the former president's birthday, people from all around the world have been leaving kind messages and recalling fond moments of Jimmy, some recent and some dating back several decades.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in front of their home 1965. (Carter family photo / Jimmy Carter Library)
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in front of their home 1965. (Carter family photo / Jimmy Carter Library)

Jimmy Carter Library

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President Carter's unusually long post-White House life — 41 years and counting, outlasting Herbert Hoover's next-longest post-presidency timespan by a decade — has allowed him time to author 30 books, the most recent published when he was 93, and get back to the no-frills American lifestyle he and Rosalynn have always appreciated.

Until the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the Carters spent a week each year volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. For many of those years, Jimmy also taught Sunday school classes in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, a small rural area with a population in the hundreds.

As President Carter continues feeling blessed for the full life he's had, his hard-to-beat record as the longest-living U.S. president is a reminder of the man on the other end of the spectrum — President John F. Kennedy — who had the shortest life of anyone who worked from the Oval Office, being fatally shot in 1963 at the age of 46.