17 Old Photos Of Jimmy Carter That Reveal What An Amazing Leader He's Been — Before, During, And After His Presidency

Former President Jimmy Carter answered questions about the breadth of his cancer diagnosis for the first time during a press conference Thursday, revealing that he's being treated for melanoma spots on his brain. Carter remained upbeat when answering questions, joking with reporters and noting, "I've had a wonderful life ... I'm perfectly at ease with whatever comes." Carter has never been the type of man to let cancer get him down — "I'm looking forward to a new adventure," he said — and old photos of Carter show that he's long been an incredibly influential figure, both while he was president and long after he left office.

Carter grew up as a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia, where he now lives with his wife, Rosalynn. Though his term as president has been described as weak by experts because of an energy shortage and the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter's work after his presidency is what has made him an important figure. He and his wife have dedicated their three decades together to humanitarian work around the world. Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work with The Carter Center, his nonprofit organization that, among its many accomplishments, has helped eradicate more than 99 percent of Guinea worm disease in Africa.

On Carter's second day in office, he pardoned all of the Vietnam War draft evaders, and later in his presidency he led the international boycott of the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow. There's no doubt that while Carter's policies during his presidency were controversial, he is an unforgettable political figure and a devoted humanitarian. Here are 17 old photos that celebrate Carter's importance during his presidency and well beyond.

Images: Library of Congress (4)