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Jimmy Carter turns 99 as tributes roll in

Former President Carter celebrated his 99th birthday Sunday with his wife, Rosalynn, and other family members as tributes to the former president rolled in.

Carter’s birthday festivities were moved up one day as the country faced a potential government shutdown — which Congress voted to avoid Saturday by approving a continuing resolution. The White House honored the former president with a special installation that reads “Happy Birthday President Carter” on the White House’s north lawn.

“Mr. President, happy birthday pal,” President Biden said in a video message. “I’ve known a lot of presidents, as you have. But I admire you because you have such incredible integrity, character and determination.”

“The smartest thing I ever did and remember I was first senator to ever endorse you because I knew who you were. And you haven’t changed a bit. It never stopped and I consider it a great honor to know you and have worked with you. And I just hope I can be one half the president you’ve been,” he added. 

Carter, who served as president from 1977-81, is the oldest former president in U.S. history. He entered hospice care in February, and his grandson, Jason Carter, said last month that the former president and Rosalynn, who was diagnosed with dementia, are “coming to the end.”

“They are together. They are at home. They are in love, and I don’t think anyone gets more than that,” Jason Carter said at the time. “I mean, it’s a perfect situation for this time in their lives.”

Vice President Harris also wished the former president a happy birthday, saying in a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, that his “life and legacy continue to inspire us today.” Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wished him a “glorious” happy birthday in a statement on X. 

“Mr. President: thank you for your lifetime of devotion in public service and personal sacrifice to improve the lives of Americans and people around the world. You and Rosalynn are an inspiration to us all,” Pelosi said.

Former President Clinton also offered celebratory remarks to Carter.

“Jimmy! Happy birthday,” Clinton said in his video message. “You only get to be 99 once. It’s been a long, good ride, and we thank you for your service and your friendship and the enduring embodiment of the American dream.”

The Associated Press contributed.

Tags Jason Carter jimmy carter Jimmy Carter Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi President Joe Biden