Who Are Jimmy Carter's Kids? Meet the Former President's Children and Grandchildren

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A portrait of President Jimmy Carter and his extended family. Left to right: Judy (Mrs. Jack Carter); Jason James Carter; Jack (John William Carter); Annette (Mrs. Jeff Carter); Jeff (Donnel Jeffrey Carter); First Lady Rosalynn Carter; daughter Amy Lynn Carter; President Carter; daughter-in law Caron Griffin Carter holding James Earl Carter IV; and son Chip (James Earl Carter III). 1977-1980. | Location: outdoors. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Former President Jimmy Carter, 99, has lived a full life—and one full of family!

The 39th president of the United States and his late wife, Rosalynn Carter, have four children: sons John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey and daughter Amy Lynn. Apart from being parents, Jimmy and Rosalynn, who wed in 1946, are also grandparents and great-grandparents.

Speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper in 2015, President Carter said, "We have a big family now. We have 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 38 of us in all. So, we try to hold our family together and just enjoy the family life."

On Feb. 18, 2023, The Carter Center announced that the former president had "decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention."

"He has the full support of his family and his medical team," the statement continued. "The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers."

Continue reading to learn more about Jimmy Carter's family.

Jimmy Carter's Children

John William Carter

John "Jack" William Carter is Jimmy and Rosalynn's eldest child. He was born on July 3, 1947, at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia. Jack's name is a tribute to his mother's grandfather, whose name was John William Murray. "So that was how my name came to be," he said in an interview with Dr. Martin I. Elzy in 2003.

Jack worked at the Carter Peanut Warehouse "for years." The president's firstborn, who served in the navy, earned a degree in nuclear physics from Georgia Tech and then went on to law school at the University of Georgia.

He was 29 when his father entered the White House in 1977. Jack has been married twice. His first wife was Judy Langford, with whom he shares son Jason James and daughter Sarah Rosemary. The pair tied the knot in 1971 and divorced in 1989. Jack married his second wife, Elizabeth Brasfield—who had two kids of her own, John and Sarah Chuldenko—in 1992.

In 2006, he ran for the U.S. Senate in Nevada but was defeated by Republican Sen. John Ensign.

Related: Jimmy Carter Looks Back on a Life of Faith and Service, and Ahead to a More Peaceful World 

James Earl III Carter

The former president and first lady welcomed their second child, James, known as Chip, on April 12, 1950. "'Chip' is Hawaiian for 'baby' and my blue armband when I was born had 'Chip Carter' written on it which meant 'baby Carter' and that's how I got the name Chip," he told the University of Georgia in a 2008 interview.

Chip was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but grew up in Georgia. According to the University of Georgia, President Carter once said his son Chip is a better politician than he is and loves it more. "That's true. That's true. I'm a better politician than him," Chip replied. "The best politician in the family is my mother, who not only was better at campaigning, but better with every day-to-day politics." He served on the Plains city council.

In the documentary Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President, the former president revealed that his son Chip smoked pot at the White House with Willie Nelson. "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," President Carter said (via Entertainment Weekly). "He said that his companion, that shared the pot with him, was one of the servants at the White House. That was not exactly true. It actually was one of my sons, which he didn't want to categorize as a pot-smoker like him."

Chip and his wife Caron, whom he married in 1973, separated in 1978. He and his first wife share son James Earl Carter IV. Chip is also a father to daughter Margaret Alicia, who was born in 1987.

Donnel Jeffrey Carter

President Carter's third child, Donnel "Jeff" Jeffrey was born on Aug. 18, 1952 (his mother's birthday!) in New London, Connecticut. Jeff met his wife, Annette Davis Carter, on the first day of school at Georgia Southwestern University. "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," their son Josh revealed in an Unchanging Principles post.

After dating through college, they tied the knot on April 6, 1975. The pair lived at the White House while the president's son finished his degree at George Washington University. According to The New York Times, Jeff and Annette had a suite on the third floor of the White House.

Related: 22 Fun Facts About the White House—Including Why It's White

The couple's first son, Joshua Jeffrey, was born in 1984, followed by their second child, Jeremy Davis, in 1987 and third, James Carlton, in 1991. Jeremy died in 2015 after having a heart attack at home. Jeff's wife passed away years later in 2021 at the age of 68.

Amy Lynn Carter

Amy is the former first couple's only daughter. The president's youngest child was born on Oct. 19, 1967 in Plains, Georgia. She was 9 years old when her dad became president of the United States. According to the White House Historical Association, Amy had her own treehouse at the White House and a Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang.

"I was young. It was a fun," she said of her time at the White House during an interview with 60 Minutes.

The Washington Post reported in 1977 that Amy read Alfred Hitchcock's The Mystery of the Screaming Clock during her father's first White House State Dinner for Mexican President José López Portillo. Later on in life, she illustrated her father's book The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer, which was published in 1995.

Amy was arrested in 1985 during antiapartheid demonstrations at the South African Embassy. ''I'm proud to be my father's daughter," the NYT quoted her saying at the time. According to an AP report in 1987, President Carter said that he was proud of his daughter.

"Amy is a very shy girl, contrary to the image you see projected in the news media. But she believes very strongly in what she’s doing," he reportedly said. "She has been, reluctantly I would say, involved in issues of importance to her. Amy’s been arrested four times, three times for protesting apartheid and this last time for what she considers, and I consider, illegal activity of the CIA in Nicaragua."

Amy married James Wentzel in 1996. The pair, who eventually divorced, are parents to son Hugo James Wentzel. The youngest Carter child got remarried, to John Joseph "Jay" Kelly, in 2007 and 60 Minutes reported in 2010 that she was pregnant with her second child.

Related: Jimmy Carter Reflects on Building More Than 4,000 Houses with Habitat for Humanity 

Jimmy Carter's Grandchildren

Jason James Carter

Son of Jack Carter and Judy Langford. He was born on born Aug. 7, 1975. The Duke University and University of Georgia School of Law alum is a former Georgia state senator. He served from 2010 to 2015. He was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia in 2014, but lost to J. Nathan Deal.

Related: President Trivia Questions and Answers

James Earl Carter IV

James is Caron and Chip Carter's son. He was born on Feb. 25, 1977.

Sarah Rosemary

Sarah is Jack Carter's daughter and Jason's younger sister. She was born on Dec. 19, 1978. Her handprints are part of the Children's Garden at the White House.

Joshua Jeffrey

Joshua is Donnel and Annette Carter's eldest child. He was born on May 8, 1984.

Margaret Alicia

Margaret is Chip's daughter. She was born on Sept. 23, 1987.

Jeremy Davis

Born in 1987, Jeremy was Donnel and Annette's second child. He died in 2015 at the age of 28. His older brother Josh wrote in an Unchanging Principles post that "he had a heart attack at home while alone in the kitchen with our mom, my dear mother had to give him CPR until the paramedics came, and they took him to the ER."

James Carlton

James is Donnel's youngest son. He was born on April 24, 1991.

Hugo James Wentzel

Hugo is Amy Carter's child, who was born on July 29, 1999. He has a half brother—Amy's child with John Joseph "Jay" Kelly—who keeps a relatively low profile.

Next, Can You Match the Presidents to Their Baby Photos?