Tributes are pouring in on former President Jimmy Carter's 99th birthday on Sunday.
Carter is celebrating his birthday seven months after entering hospice care. He is the oldest-living former president in U.S. history.
President Joe Biden, who was a U.S. senator during Carter's 1977 to 1981 presidency, honored the former leader in a video message on X.
"Mr. President, happy birthday," Biden said. "I've known a lot of presidents, as you have. But I admire you because you have such incredible integrity, character, and determination. One of the smartest things I ever did, I was the first senator that ever endorsed you, because I knew who you were, and you haven't changed a bit. You've never stopped, and I consider it a great honor to know you and to have worked with you."
President Biden said he hoped he could be "one half the president" Carter was.
President Jimmy Carter, you remain the spirit and the heart of the American people. It’s a great honor to know you and to have worked with you.
Jill and I wish you a happy birthday. pic.twitter.com/ZUVHjgOYvy
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 1, 2023
The White House honored Carter with a three-tiered red, white, and blue wooden cake topped with 39 candles, representing his role as the 39th U.S. president.
Former President Barack Obama also posted a message to Carter.
"Happy 99th birthday, President Carter! You've inspired so many people around the world with your leadership, character, and commitment to service," said Obama on X. "Michelle and I hope you have a wonderful birthday and send our best wishes to you and Rosalynn."
Happy 99th birthday, President Carter! You’ve inspired so many people around the world with your leadership, character, and commitment to service. Michelle and I hope you have a wonderful birthday and send our best wishes to you and Rosalynn. pic.twitter.com/a4WaKeVM9e
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2023
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, thanked the former president in a video message for all he has done to "help the health of the health of the world's people."
"So many people around the world are alive today because of you and your generosity, including in my own country, Ethiopia," Ghebreyesus said. "You have lived your life the best way possible — in the service of others."
The Atlanta Hawks also paid tribute to Carter.
"Happy 99th birthday to Georgia hero, President Jimmy Carter!" the sports team posted on X.
Carter grew up in a small Georgia town called Plains.
Carter, who hadn't been seen in public this year, paid his hometown a surprise visit last Saturday. When crowds gathered at the annual Plains Peanut Festival, they knew not to expect the former president to appear on the balcony overlooking the festival, as he could no longer climb the stairs.
Carter stunned gatherers when he passed by in an SUV driven by a Secret Service agent while holding hands with his wife of 77 years, Rosalynn.
Crowds gasped, cheered and sang happy birthday, according to The Washington Post.
Celebrations set for Sunday at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta happened a day earlier to avoid potential disruptions due to a government shutdown — which ended up being avoided.
Hundreds of attendees enjoyed video tributes to Carter by celebrities, doll-making, trivia rounds showcasing lesser-known facts about his life, and reflections on the evolving world.
People around the world can send the former president a virtual birthday message via the Carter Center's website, which is his nonprofit advocating for human rights.
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