Amy Carter

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Amy Carter
Amy Carter with her cat,
Misty Malarky Ying Yang
Amy Lynn Carter

(1967-10-19) October 19, 1967 (age 51)
EducationB.F.A., M.A. in Art History
Alma materBrown University
Memphis College of Art (BFA)
Tulane University (MA)
Political partyDemocratic
James Gregory Wentzel
(m. 1996; div. 1999)

Amy Lynn Carter (born October 19, 1967) is the daughter of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter. Carter entered the limelight as a child when she lived in the White House during the Carter presidency.


Early life and education[edit]

Amy Carter was born on October 19, 1967, in Plains, Georgia. In 1970 her father was elected Governor of Georgia, and then in 1976, President of the United States.

Amy was raised in Plains until her father was elected governor, whereupon she moved with her family into the Georgia Governor's Mansion and the White House when her father was elected President.

Carter attended majority black public schools in Washington during her four years in Washington; first the Stevens Elementary School and then the Rose Hardy Middle School.[1]

Mary Prince (an African American woman wrongly convicted of murder, and later pardoned) was her nanny for most of the period from 1971 until Jimmy Carter's presidency ended.[2][3]

After her father's presidency, Amy moved to Atlanta and attended her senior year of high school at Woodward Academy in College Park.[4]

She attended Brown University but was academically dismissed in 1987, and eventually earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) from the Memphis College of Art and a master's degree in art history from Tulane University in New Orleans.[citation needed]

Life in the White House[edit]

At the age of nine, Carter entered the White House, where she lived for four years. She was the subject of much media attention during this period, as young children had not lived in the White House since the early 1960s presidency of John F. Kennedy (and would not again do so after the Carter presidency until the inauguration of Bill Clinton).

While Carter was in the White House, she had a Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang, which was the last cat to occupy the White House until Socks, owned by Bill Clinton. Carter also was given an elephant from Sri Lanka from an immigrant; the animal was given to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Carter attended public schools,[5] including Stevens Elementary School and Hardy Middle School.[6][7][8]

Carter roller-skated through the White House's East Room and had a treehouse on the South Lawn.[5] When she invited friends over for slumber parties in her treehouse, Secret Service agents monitored the event from the ground.[9]

Carter did not receive the "hands off" treatment that most of the media later afforded to Chelsea Clinton.[9] President Carter mentioned his daughter during a 1980 debate with Ronald Reagan, when he said he had asked her what the most important issue in that election was and she said, "the control of nuclear arms". Once, when asked whether she had any message for the children of America, Amy replied with a simple "no".[10] Controversy resulted when Carter was seen reading a book during a state dinner at the White House, which was seen as being offensive to foreign guests.[9]


Carter later became known for her political activism. She participated in a number of sit-ins and protests during the 1980s and early 1990s that were aimed at changing U.S. foreign policy towards South African apartheid and Central America.[9] Along with activist Abbie Hoffman and 13 others, she was arrested during a 1986 demonstration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for protesting CIA recruitment there. She was acquitted of all charges in a well-publicized trial in Northampton, Massachusetts. Attorney Leonard Weinglass, who defended Abbie Hoffman in the Chicago Seven trial in the 1960s, utilized the necessity defense, successfully arguing that because the CIA was involved in criminal activity in Central America and other hotspots, preventing it from recruiting on campus was equivalent to trespassing in a burning building.[11] This occurred during Carter's sophomore year at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She eventually was dismissed "for failing to keep up with her course work".[12]

Personal life[edit]

In September 1996, Carter married computer consultant James Gregory Wentzel, whom she had met while attending Tulane. Carter chose not to be given away, stating that she "belonged to no one". Carter kept her own family name and the couple moved to the Atlanta area, where they focused on raising their son, Hugo James Wentzel (b. 1999). Carter and Wentzel later divorced. In Atlanta, Hugo attended Paideia.[4][failed verification] Carter eventually remarried and has since had a second son. Since the late 1990s, Carter has maintained a low profile, neither participating in public protests nor granting interviews. She is a member of the board of counselors of the Carter Center that advocates human rights and diplomacy as established by her father.[9] Carter illustrated her father's book for children The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer (1996).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baltimore Sun: "Jimmy Carter's first decisions as president-elect..." By THEO LIPPMAN JR. January 07, 1993
  2. ^ Jimmy Carter (2005). Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis. Simon and Schuster. pp. 84–. ISBN 978-0-7432-8457-8. My last book, Sharing Good Times, is dedicated "to Mary Prince, whom we love and cherish." Mary is a wonderful black woman who, as a teenager visiting a small town, was falsely accused of murder and defended by an assigned lawyer whom she first met on the day of the trial, when he advised her to plead guilty, promising a light sentence. She got life imprisonment instead ... A reexamination of the evidence and trial proceedings by the original judge revealed that she was completely innocent, and she was granted a pardon.
  3. ^ Chabbott, Sophia (2015-03-19). "The Residence: Meet the Women Behind Presidential Families Kennedy, Johnson, Carter". Retrieved 2015-05-02. Rosalynn Carter, who believed Prince was wrongly convicted, secured a reprieve so Prince could join them in Washington. Prince was later granted a full pardon; to this day she occasionally babysits the Carters' grandkids.
  4. ^ a b "Amy Carter is 17". The New York Times. October 18, 1984. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  5. ^ a b St. Clair, Stacy (2008-11-07). "American Girls: For Obama's daughters, White House life isn't going to be normal". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  6. ^ "Explore DC: Hardy Middle School". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  7. ^ First choice: why Chelsea Clinton should attend a public school - President-elect Bill Clinton's daughter
  8. ^ Graff, Amy (2008-11-08). "Where will the Obama girls go to school?". The Mommy Files. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Steindorf, Sarah (2000-02-17). "'Whatever happened to...?' Amy Carter". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  10. ^ Miller, Danny (January 25, 2006). "I Heart Amy Carter". The Huffington Post
  11. ^ Kraft, Stephanie (April 20, 1987). "The Triumph of Necessity". Valley Advocate. Archived from the original on January 22, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "Amy Carter ouster by Brown U. told", Chicago Sun-Times, July 19, 1987.

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