Often times, children of important people don’t understand the value they hold until later in life, all the while having to learn to take responsibilities at a very young age. This is what the childhood of the daughter of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, was. How did Amy Carter handle living in the White House? What were her later endeavors?
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Amy Lynn Carter was born on 19 October 1967, in Plains, Georgia USA, the youngest of four children and the only daughter of James “Jimmy” Earl Jr. Carter and Rosalynn Carter. She grew up in Plains until her father became Governor of Georgia in 1970, when the family moved into the Georgia Governor’s House.
Happy #FirstDayofSpring! Rosalynn and Amy Carter spy something up in the sky (A bird! A plane! … ) in the White House Rose Garden, 4/3/77. NAID 174254 #ArchivesInBloomRedux @USNatArchives pic.twitter.com/46usSUF80V
— Jimmy Carter Library (@CarterLibrary) March 19, 2020
Several years later in 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected 39th President of the United States, thus his family changed location once again, and inhabited the White House.
Life as a President’s Daughter
During her years in Washington, Carter went to public schools that were majority black; first it was the Stevens Elementary School, and then she attended Rose Hardy Middle School. Her nanny was Mary Prince, a black woman who had her share of the spotlight when she was convicted of murder – the accusations proved to be false and Prince was pardoned. She remained Carter’s nanny from 1971 until 1981, when her father’s presidency ended. All of this shaped Amy into an avid supporter of the fight for rights of black people, not only in America but worldwide.
Carter’s presence at the White House was headlined in numerous media, as young kids weren’t resident in the White House since the presidency of John F. Kennedy in 1960s. She kept a Siamese cat called Misty Malarky Ying Yang, which was the last pet of that kind in the White House for over a decade. Carter also owned an elephant that was gifted to her by an immigrant from Sri Lanka – however, it was given to the Washington National Zoo. Carter would often cheer everyone up by organizing parties in her treehouse that was located on the South Lawn, however, those events were always monitored by Secret Service agents. Another of her childhood endeavors was roller skating in the East Room. She was also often expected to give comments to the media, which made her life rather public.
One time she was even involved in a scandal when she was sighted reading a book at a state dinner, which was deemed rude and offensive by many foreign guests. After they left the White House, the family moved to Atlanta, and Carter spent her last year of high school in College Park, Georgia, at Woodward Academy. She enrolled at Brown University, but she didn’t have much luck there, as in 1987 she was academically dismissed for, as sources claim, failing to stay on track with her course duties and projects. Several years later, she graduated from the Memphis College of Art and with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. In 1996 she received her master’s degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the field of Art History.
After her teen years, Carter became a well-known face in the field of political activism.
She was a regular attendant at most protests that advocated for a change in US policy towards Central America and South African apartheid during the late 1980s and early 1990s. She was even arrested in 1986, together with civil rights leader Abbie Hoffman and 13 other activists during a demonstration that was held at the University of Massachusetts, but was released of all charges thanks to the famous attorney Leonard Weinglass. The demonstrations were focused against the recruitment of people for the CIA in colleges, and her defense was based on claims that the CIA itself had involvement in illegal activities, thus the enlistment on campus was deemed trespassing.
It was speculated that this event was what got her dismissed from Brown University at the time, despite the institution’s official statement. She became a member of the counselor board of the “Carter Center”, a non-profit organization founded by her father in 1982 after he lost the 1980 presidential election. The goal of the organization is to advocate human rights and diplomacy. She was also portrayed in Jimmy Carter’s book for children that was published in 1996, “The Little Baby Snoogie-Fleejer”, that Carter also illustrated.
While she was studying at Tulane University, Carter met her husband to be, James Gregory Wentzel. Wentzel is the son of a Mobil Oil Company executive, Jim Wentzel, and his wife Judy.
After graduating university he became a career computer consultant. The couple married in 1996 at the Pond House, where Carter had lived with her grandmother, Lillian, years before, while Jimmy Carter was dealing with his 1976 presidential campaign. She walked down a path that was covered with pine straw, and tied the knot beneath wild vines while wearing a street-length, hand-embroidered dress in the style of the 1920s. She caused a lot of controversy on that very day when she refused to be given away during the ceremony, claiming that she belonged to no one. She even chose to keep her family name instead of taking Wentzel’s. Her father, former president, was amongst the 140 guests and family members present at the wedding.
The couple lived in New Orleans, where they welcomed their only child, Hugo James Wentzel, in 1999, however a few years after that their marriage started to break apart, and soon they filed for a divorce.
Carter is living away from the spotlight, and can rarely be seen in public photos or media. The sources from the media state that she remarried and welcomed her second child, but as of March 2020 there is no information about her child or the identity of her second husband. She doesn’t have any social media profiles, and little to nothing is known about her everyday life. She also refuses to grant interviews. She currently lives in Atlanta, together with her family. Her eldest brother, John William “Jack” Carter was a candidate for the first major office, as well as the Democratic nominee for the US senate in 2006, but lost against a Republican senator.
James Earl “Chip” Carter was a Democratic National Committee participant, while his son unearthed the infamous “47%” video that was aimed against Mitt Romney. The youngest brother, Donnel Jeffrey “Jeff” Carter is a consultant, and one of the co-founders of the company called Computer Mapping Consultants.
Despite many similarities in their biography, Carter is not to be confused with another Amy Carter from political society – former Democratic-turned-Republican, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives and the executive director at the Technical College System of Georgia.
Thanks partly to her father’s career in politics, as well as her own endeavors, Carter has earned quite a fortune. Despite her not revealing her earnings, her net worth is estimated by sources at around $7 million.
Carter is 5ft 7ins (1.70 m) tall and weighs around 137 pounds (62 kg). Her hair is blonde and her eyes are greenish-blue color.