Lion and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his "decades of untiring efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited Carter's success in finding peace between Egypt and Israel through diplomacy, specifically through his work in the Camp David Accords.
Carter's efforts to resolve conflict have been seen throughout the world. Much of this work has been done through the Carter Center, an Atlanta-based activist policy center and partner of Lions Clubs International. Founded in 1982 by Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, the center celebrates its 20-year anniversary this year.
"It's very gratifying to me to see the folks at the Carter Center so recognized," said Carter.
For several years, LCIF and the Carter Center have partnered together in organizing river blindness activities. In 1999, they began working together on trachoma control, utilizing the advanced technical support of the Carter Center and the social marketing skills of Lions members.
Originally a peanut farmer, Carter served as district governor of District 18-C before serving as governor of the state of Georgia. He still serves as a member of the Plains Lions Club. In 1996 he was awarded the Lions Clubs International Humanitarian Award at the international convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Carter is the first American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize since former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger received it in 1973. He follows in the footsteps of two other former presidents of the United States: Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for his role in initiating numerous peace treaties and Woodrow Wilson in 1919 for his role in establishing the League of Nations (a forerunner to the United Nations).