President Joe Biden will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of former President Jimmy Carter, who remains under hospice care at his home in south Georgia.
Biden told donors at a California fundraiser Monday evening about a visit to see the 39th president, whom he has known since he was a young Delaware senator supporting Carter’s 1976 presidential campaign.
At 98 years old, Carter is the longest-living American president. He and Biden have known each other since 1976, the White House said. That year, Biden, who was then a senator, became the first elected official outside of Georgia to endorse Carter’s run for president.
Carter won that election. He served as the 39th president during the turbulent late 1970s before losing reelection to Ronald Reagan in 1980. In the decades that followed, Carter worked to advance democracy and health initiatives around the world — work for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
Carter and his wife recorded a video of their endorsement of Biden that aired during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. In the video, Carter said they have “known and admired Joe and Jill for many years” and described Biden as his “first and most effective supporter in the Senate.”
Biden, 80, and first lady Jill Biden visited Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who is now 95, at their home in Plains, Georgia, a few months after Biden took office in 2021.
Carter’s reported request for Biden, 80, to deliver his eulogy came after the two politicians have spent decades fostering a personal relationship. Biden, as one of Delaware’s US senators, endorsed Carter when the former governor of Georgia ran for president in 1976 and defeated the incumbent Gerald Ford. When Biden ran for president and defeated the Republican incumbent Donald Trump in 2020, Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, endorsed him. Carter’s endorsement came in the form of a video played at the Democratic national convention, in which he described Biden as his “first and most effective” Senate supporter.