When a president leaves the White House for the final time while they may be moving out of the grand ol’ house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they may not necessarily be leaving behind the lavish lifestyle.
Unless you’re former President Jimmy Carter.
Carter, 98, who is currently the oldest-living former president, has lived a rather modest life ever since he handed over the presidency to Ronald Reagan in 1981.
After serving just one term, Carter and his wife Rosalynn, 95, who celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary this year, moved back to the home they built in the 1960s in Plains, Georgia.
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924 in Plains, Georgia to Bessie Lillian and James Earl Carter Sr.
Plains was a small town of about 600 people where Carter’s father was a successful businessman and investor in farmland. His mother worked as a nurse at the Wise Sanitarium, where Carter was born.
Carter attended the local high school from 1937 to 1941, and like his father who served in in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps during WWI, he dreamed of joining the military.
He began attending Georgia Southwestern College, but transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology and later gained admission into the Naval Academy in 1943.
It was during his time in the Naval Academy that he met Rosalynn through his sister Ruth.
“I just felt compatible with her,” he said in Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas’ book What Makes a Marriage Last, according to People.
The two went out on a date – to see a movie – and from there the rest if history!
They married in 1946, shortly after Carter graduated from the Naval Academy.
For the next several years, the young couple found themselves moving around the country as Carter was assigned deployments in the Atlantic or Pacific fleets.
Just as the Navy was set to construct its first nuclear-powered submarine, which Carter was going to be a part of, his father became ill and died from cancer in July 1953.
Although it was a difficult decision, Carter eventually left the Navy with the rank of lieutenant to continue the family business as a peanut farmer.