The power of Carter's roots

Born in Plains, Georgia, in 1924, he stayed close to his roots, returning home after his Navy career to run the family's peanut farm.

Church was a central part of his life in Plains – he taught Sunday school there into his 90s — and friends say his Christian faith drove him.

"He did what he did out of a love for mankind," says Linda Fuller Degelmann, one of the co-founders of Habitat for Humanity, which counted Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter among their many volunteers, hammering nails by day and sleeping in bunk beds by night. The Carters worked on Habitat projects in 14 countries. "He was a true, true humanitarian and a lot the drive comes from his Christian understanding of love," says Degelmann.