Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and More Send Birthday Wishes to Jimmy Carter: 'A Beacon of Light'

Carter turned 97 on Friday and is the oldest-ever living former president

Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter
Joe Biden (left), Jimmy Carter. Photo: POTUS/Twitter

President Joe Biden was among the notable figures to wish Jimmy Carter a happy birthday on Friday, the day the former peanut farmer-turned-president turned 97.

"Happy 97th Birthday to my dear friend, President Jimmy Carter," Biden wrote on Twitter. "A humble servant of God. A beacon of light and moral clarity. A leader of extraordinary character, honor, and integrity."

The tweet was shared along with a black and white photo of the two men, taken in the Oval Office when Carter was president and Biden was a U.S. Senator representing Delaware.

Former President Bill Clinton also offered his well-wishes to Carter, writing on Twitter: "Happy 97 years young, Mr. President! I hope you have a great day!"

Like Biden, Clinton also shared a vintage photo of him and the former president, which he noted was taken in December 1978.

Others who wished Carter a happy birthday on social media include Georgia Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock, Florida Rep. Val Demings, voting rights activist Stacey Abrams and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Carter has continued his streak as the nation's oldest-ever living former president.

A spokesperson told PEOPLE this week that he was celebrating quietly in Plains, Georgia, alongside his wife of 75 years, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

"There are no public events planned for President Carter's 97th birthday, which he will spend in Plains," the Carters' spokeswoman tells PEOPLE.

The spokeswoman added that the public could "send their birthday wishes" via an online card at the couples' Carter Center.

Born Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Carter served as a state senator and as governor of Georgia before he was elected the country's 39th president in 1976. After the White House, he focused on humanitarian work and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

The Carters, who wed in 1946, celebrated 75 years of marriage this summer with a star-studded celebration in their hometown in July.

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter
From left: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in July. The Carter Center

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carters have made only periodic public appearances, though they resumed attending their usual Sunday church services this spring, after getting fully vaccinated.

The former president has also faced a series of health issues in recent years, having been diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, breaking a hip in 2019 and suffering a fall that same year.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with the former president at his Georgia home in April, Biden said Carter's "health has gotten better."

President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited with the Carters for about an hour inside their home, according to reporters traveling with the president at the time.

When the first couple left, Mrs. Carter walked them to the door of the Carters' Plains home, and Biden spoke to reporters afterwards.

"His health has gotten better," Biden said. "I mean, he — you know, he's really, it's amazing. He keeps bouncing back."

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