What Happened To Rosalynn And Jimmy Carter's Children?

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter first began dating in 1945 (via Biography) and never looked back. At the time of Rosalynn Carter's death in November 2023, the pair had been married for almost eight decades. They had four children together: Jack, Chip, Jeff, and Amy, and as of 2023 have an incredible total of 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jimmy has had a long and illustrious career in politics, but he has said it's Rosalynn that makes him enjoy life.

The former president told CNN in a 2015 interview, "... Rosalynn has been the foundation for my entire enjoyment of life ... first of all, it's best to choose the right woman, which I did, and secondly we give each other space to do our own things. We try to be reconciled before we go to sleep at night and try to find everything we can think of that we like to do together. So, we have a lot of good times." Following in their mother and father's footsteps, their four children also carved out their own paths in life.

John William Carter

The first child of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, John William "Jack" Carter (pictured standing behind his father) was born on July 3, 1947. Before going to college, Jack worked in the family peanut factory (via People). He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology at first, then transferred to Emory University before ending up at Georgia Southwestern University. Alongside his education, Jack joined the Navy but in 1970 he was dismissed for smoking marijuana, per The New York Times. Following his discharge, Jack attended Georgia Tech and obtained a degree in nuclear physics (via Jimmy Carter Library). Soon after, in 1975, Jack enrolled in law school at the University of Georgia and received his Juris Doctor.

Jack married Juliette Langford in 1971. The couple have two children: Jason James, born in 1975, and Sarah Rosemary, born in 1978. Jack and Juliette would later divorce and Jack went on to marry Elizabeth Brasfield in 1992. In 2003, Jack and Elizabeth moved to Las Vegas. In 2006, Jack campaigned for and won the Democratic primary in Nevada (via NBC News), though he would go on to lose against the Republican candidate. Since then Jack Carter has kept a low profile. 

James Earl Carter III

The Carters' second son, James Earl Carter, was born on April 12, 1950. Known as "Chip," he was brought into the world while his father Jimmy Carter was carrying out his Navy service in Honolulu. Chip has been married three times. He married his first wife, Caron, in 1973. The pair met in 1970 when working on a Gubernatorial campaign (via The New York Times) and separated in 1978. They have one son together. As reported by The Washington Post, after separating from Caron, Chip moved to Plains, Georgia to manage the family peanut factory. In an interview with the University of Georgia, Chip shared that he was also elected to the Plains city council and worked on the Democratic National Committee.

Per People, Chip went on to have a daughter with his second wife Ginger Hodges in 1987. As of 2023, he is still married to his third wife Becky Payne, whom he married in 2001. Speaking about his mother Rosalynn following her death, Chip shared, "Besides being a loving mother and extraordinary First Lady, my mother was a great humanitarian in her own right. Her life of service and compassion was an example for all Americans. She will be sorely missed not only by our family but by the many people who have better mental health care and access to resources for caregiving today" (via Deadline).

Donnel Jeffrey Carter

Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter's third son, Donnel Jeffrey Carter, was born on August 18, 1952 — which, according to Parade, also happened to be his mother's birthday. Compared to his brothers, the third Carter son has lived a relatively quiet life. Known as "Jeff," he attended Georgia Southwestern University and later studied geography at George Washington University, graduating in 1978 with honors (per TIME Magazine). The same year he graduated from George Washington University, Jeff co-founded Computer Mapping Consultants alongside one of his former professors (via People).

Jeff met his wife Annette Davis on his very first date at Georgia Southwestern University (via Parade). The pair went on to marry in 1975 and had three children together: Joshua, born in 1984, Jeremy, born in 1987, and James, born in 1991. As stated by People, during his father's presidency, Jeff and Annette left the White House in order to focus on raising their children. The couple lost their son Jeremy in 2015 after he inexplicably died of a heart attack at 28 years old, per People. Annette died on September 19, 2021 at the age of 68. 

Amy Lynn Carter

The youngest child and only daughter of Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, Amy Lynn Carter was born on October 19, 1967, making her a whole 20 years younger than her eldest sibling Jack Carter. She was only 9 years old when her father became President and would later become something of a presidential child troublemaker. Per The Washington Post, in 1987 Amy was thrown out of Brown University for reportedly not submitting academic work. However, in 1991, she graduated from the Memphis College of Art and also received a master's in art history from Tulane University five years later in 1996 (via People). 

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Amy became known for being a fervent political activist. She attended several protests, notably one protesting apartheid in South Africa (via People), and in 1986 was arrested for protesting CIA campus recruitment at the University of Massachusetts. As for her personal life, Amy married computer consultant James Wentzel in 1996. The pair have one son. They later divorced, and Amy married John Joseph Kelly in 2007, going on to have another son with Kelly. As of 2020, Amy sat on the Board of Councillors for the Carter Center.