America’s 39th president, Jimmy Carter, was raised on his family’s thriving peanut farm. While he was expanding the family business, Carter began to care deeply about the civil rights movement. This led to his career shift into politics and his eventual presidency, which took place between the years 1977 to 1981. While in office, Carter founded the Department of Education and the Department of Energy and also spearheaded the Camp David Accords, which ultimately led to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Carter received high marks from C-SPAN for his pursuit of equal justice for all and his moral authority while dealing with numerous international crises during his term including the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Energy Crisis of 1979.
Unfortunately, the people of the United States were not as impressed by the way in which Carter dealt with these events, and his approval rating went down steadily, leading to his losing the next election in 1980 to Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. Carter’s efforts were eventually recognized, and he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for the work done by The Carter Center, his NGO.
William H. Taft
William H. Taft served as the 27th president of the United Stated and he is the only man in American history to serve as chief justice after his term as president. Taft was originally from Ohio but decided to attended Yale University and study law. There are even rumors that he was part of Yale’s illustrious secret society Skull and Bones. Taft was a talented lawyer and even became a judge while he was still in his 20’s.
His term in office, from 1909 to 1913, was mainly centered on foreign affairs. He focused on East Asia over Europe but was also involved in the goings on in Latin America. This work earned him his reputation as a man who could build up or bring down foreign governments.
Taft’s Incredible Weight Loss
President Taft was famous for being the heaviest president in American history. After he was sworn in, he weighed a shocking 350 pounds!
Rumors about his weight abounded, including one about him getting stuck in the White House bathtub. After Taft finished up his time as president, he went on to lose an incredible 80 pounds!
Carter’s Peace Deal
The 39th president helped negotiate a groundbreaking peace agreement in the Middle East. He sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Saddat to create a deal that was meant to ensure a lasting peace.
Israel agreed to give the Sinai area back to Egypt, after conquering it in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and in return Egypt recognized Israel’s right to exist. The leaders of both countries received the Nobel Peace Prize for this endeavor.
Gerald R. Ford Jr.
When Richard Nixon resigned as president, Gerald Ford stepped up and became the 38th president of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977. Ford is famous for his pardon of Richard Nixon and more importantly, for his participation in the Helsinki Accords, several agreements which were meant to improve the relationship between the Soviet Union and the West and improve the conditions of people living under the Soviet regime.
Ford was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was interested in becoming a lawyer, which led him to a career in politics. Ford was known for his strong values and his leadership during some tough economic times is the main reason he appears so highly on this list. He is also the only person in American history to serve as both vice president and president without being elected.