spacer James E. (Jimmy) Carter Jimmy Carter (born 1924)
Thirty-ninth President (1977-1981)

In the early stages of the 1976 presidential campaign, the experts hardly gave a second thought to Jimmy Carter's chances of winning the Democratic nomination, much less the White House. But the former Georgia governor's can-do, Washington outsider's image, along with his conservative populism, had great voter appeal, and in the final poll he emerged triumphant. Unfortunately, Carter did not prove as effective in the presidency as he had on the stump. He was, moreover, blamed for problems, such as runaway inflation, that were mostly beyond his control. Nevertheless, his administration had some unalloyed successes, including the landmark peace agreement between Egypt and Israel that would probably never have been reached without Carter's own dogged determination to make it happen.

Artist Robert Templeton made the first sketches for this portrait at the White House in 1978. In the picture, Carter stands in the Oval Office, which is furnished as it had been during his administration. The donkey statuette on his desk was a gift from the Democratic National Committee.


Robert Templeton (1929-1991)
Oil on canvas, 1980
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Gift of the 1977 Inaugural Committee and Gallery purchase
NPG.84.154

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