Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the U.S. from 1977 to 1981, became the country’s oldest living former president Thursday, surpassing the late President George H.W. Bush who died in November.
As of Thursday, Carter is 94 years and 172 days old. When Bush died on Nov. 30, 2019, he was 94 years and 171 days old. Carter broke another record after he became the country’s former president “to live the longest after leaving office, at more than 38 years,” ABC News reported. Former President Gerald Ford held that title until Carter broke it.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that there was some debate if Carter reached the milestone on Thursday or Friday “based on the hour of Bush’s death.”
The Carter Center said in a statement that they were “rooting” for the former president.
“We at the Carter Center sure are rooting for him and are grateful for his long life of service that has benefited millions of the world’s poorest people,” the Carter Center said in a statement.
Carter was elected to office 1976 when he was 52 years old. Following his presidency, Carter did extensive humanitarian work and created the Carter Center that “seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.” He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his humanitarian efforts. He continues to be active in Habitat for Humanity with his wife Rosalynn.
In 2015, Carter announced that he had cancer that spread to his brain. He underwent treatment and announced later that he was free of cancer.
“My most recent M.R.I. brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones,” Carter said in a statement at the time.