On Jimmy Carter’s 98th Birthday, His Charity — and Grandson — Honor Former President’s Legacy: ‘Awe-Inspiring’

Former President Jimmy Carter has turned 98 years old, and people all over theworld are joining in the celebration.

Carter, who currently reigns as America’s oldest living president, has had abusy four decades since he left the White House, continuing his philanthropicefforts through The Carter Center, which he founded in 1982 with former firstlady Rosalynn Carter.

In honor of Saturday’s milestone occasion, marking the highest age a former USpresident has ever reached, the Carter Center team has created an onlinebulletin board where admirers of the 39th president can post a message ofappreciation. (The nonprofit organized a similar celebration for Rosalynn’s95th birthday in August.)

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“As the longest-living president in US history, President Jimmy Carter has hada remarkable life of service that deserves worldwide celebration,” said PaigeAlexander, CEO of The Carter Center, in a statement. “Whether here in Georgiaor in hard-to-reach regions around the world, millions of people havebenefited from President Carter’s commitment to making the world a betterplace.”

Garth Brooks, JimmyCarterGarthBrooks, JimmyCarter

Garth Brooks, Jimmy Carter

Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock

The former first couple’s grandson Jason Carter now serves as chair of theCarter Center board of trustees, and says he’s “honored” to be a part ofcarrying on his grandparents’ legacy.

“It’s been awe-inspiring to watch my grandfather live out his values ​​for allthese decades,” he tells PEOPLE. “My earliest memories are from his years inthe White House, and I’ve grown up witnessing and learning from his faith andhis belief in equal treatment and respect for all people.”

Jason adds that President Carter has “always been known for his honesty, hiswork ethic, for asking tough questions, and for his persistence.” (He notesthat Rosalynn prefers to call that last part “stubbornness.”)

Those traits, Jason says, are a large part of why the Carter Center has beensuccessful since its conception, working on “everything from observingelections to resolving conflicts to nearly eradicating Guinea worm disease —which will be only the second human disease ever eradicated! “

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As for how Jimmy and Rosalynn will celebrate the president’s 98th birthday,PEOPLE anticipates that they will enjoy a quiet day at home, as they’ve donefor other recent momentous occasions. Seventy-six years into their marriage —”a true power couple,” Jason says — the Carters continue to reside in thesmall town of Plains, Georgia, where the president was born.

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Though their lifestyle has slowed a bit in recent years, Jimmy and Rosalynncontinue to speak out on important issues while their foundation’s team ofabout 3,000 employees worldwide work on the ground.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carters were vocal aboutwearing masks, even encouraging people to reroute their Carter Centerdonations to groups helping alleviate the suffering of the novel coronavirus.They later appeared in a public service announcement about getting vaccinatedalongside the Clintons, Bushes and Obamas. Earlier this year, President Carterwarned about threats to American democracy posed by far-right extremists.