Jimmy Carter b. 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.