Who are Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter’s children?

‘We have a big family now. We have 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 38 of us in all,’ Carter told CNN in 2015

Amelia Neath,Gustaf Kilander
Friday 24 May 2024 22:08 BST
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Related video: Jason Carter gives update on Jimmy Carter

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter had four children together, becoming the first couple to have children living in the White House since John F Kennedy.

Over the years, their family grew in size, with nearly two dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren altogether.

“We have a big family now. We have 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 38 of us in all,” Mr Carter told CNN in 2015.

“So, we try to hold our family together and just enjoy the family life.”

Ms Carter passed away in November last year. Mr Carter became the longest-living president as he turned 98 in October 2022.

“It’s been awe-inspiring to watch my grandfather live out his values for all these decades,” his grandson Jason Carter told People last year. “My earliest memories are from his years in the White House, and I’ve grown up witnessing and learning from his faith and his belief in equal treatment and respect for all people."

Rosalynn Carter and her family. Left to right: Judy (Jack Carter’s wife); Jason James Carter; Jack Carter; Annette ( Jeff Carter’s Wife); Jeff Carter; Rosalynn Carter; Amy Carter; Jimmy Carter; Caron Griffin Carter(Chip Carter’s wife) holding James Earl Carter IV; Chip Carter
Rosalynn Carter and her family. Left to right: Judy (Jack Carter’s wife); Jason James Carter; Jack Carter; Annette ( Jeff Carter’s Wife); Jeff Carter; Rosalynn Carter; Amy Carter; Jimmy Carter; Caron Griffin Carter(Chip Carter’s wife) holding James Earl Carter IV; Chip Carter (Corbis via Getty Images)

In February of this year, the Carter Center said in a statement that Mr Carter, now 99, would move on to hospice care “after a series of short hospital stays.”

“Former US President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention,” the center said. “He has the full support of his family and his medical team.”

John Carter

John “Jack” Carter
John “Jack” Carter (AP Photo/Jone Locher)

John William “Jack” Carter, 76, is the eldest son of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

He spent his young adult years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, but later left to join the US Navy and served during the Vietnam War.

He would eventually be discharged after he was caught smoking marijuana while stationed in Idaho, but he would later rejoin Georgia Tech and earn a degree in nuclear physics.

Like his father, Mr Carter also had a stint in US politics, winning the Democratic primary for the US Senate in Nevada in 2006, but he lost the general election to Republican John Ensign.

His top issues during the campaign were opposing the Iraq War and improving healthcare, particularly for veterans.

“We took our eye off Afghanistan, which should have been the focus,” he said during a campaign stop with his father, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. 

James Carter III

James ‘Chip’ Carter
James ‘Chip’ Carter (John Bazemore/AP)

James Earl “Chip” Carter III, 73,  the second eldest son, was handed down his father’s and grandfather’s name. He had a son with his first wife Caron Griffin, whom he also bestowed the name upon.

He worked in the family peanut warehouse for a while before he was elected to the Plains City Council and worked on the Democratic National Committee.

Jimmy Carter revealed in the documentary Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President that Chip and singer Willie Nelson smoked marijuana on the White House roof.

“When Willie Nelson wrote his autobiography, he confessed that he smoked pot in the White House one night when he was spending the night with me,” Mr Carter said in the documentary. “And he says that his companion that shared the pot with him was one of the servants in the White House. That is not exactly true — it actually was one of my sons, which he didn’t want to categorize as a pot-smoker like him.”

Donnel Carter

Donnel ‘Jeff’ Carter
Donnel ‘Jeff’ Carter (Penske Media via Getty Images)

Donnel “Jeff” Carter, 71, is the youngest of the Carter brothers.

He studied geography and computer cartography and later co-founded the company Computer Mapping Consultants with his former professor the same year he graduated, he told Time magazine.

He had three children, Joshua, Jeremy, and James, but Jeremy passed away in 2015 at the age of 28 from an apparent heart attack. Donnel lost his wife Annette, 68, in 2021.

He met her on their first day of school at Georgia Southwestern State University.

Joshua Carter wrote in an obituary for his mother that “Jeff saw her across the student center while he was playing spades, and he told his friends to turn around and look at that pretty girl that just walked in. He told them he was going to marry her, and four years later he did.”

They were married for 46 years.

Amy Carter

Amy Carter and her father, Jimmy Carter
Amy Carter and her father, Jimmy Carter (Rick Diamond/Getty)

Amy Carter, 56, is the only daughter and youngest child by 15 years of the former president and first lady.

Ms Carter spent her childhood years in the White House while her father was serving as president, putting her in the political and media spotlight at a young age.

Born in October 1967, she was nine years old when her father became president.

She later went on to become known for her political activism, such as participating in protests and sit-ins against US foreign policy in Central America and apartheid in South Africa.

On one occasion in 1986, Ms Carter and several others were arrested during a protest against CIA recruitment. She was acquitted of charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing, according to The New York Times. 

She illustrated her father’s children’s book, The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer, which was published in 1995.

Ms Carter has two sons from two marriages.

In more recent years, she has kept a low profile. She became a member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors in 2020.

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