Ex-President Jimmy Carter Has Black Eye, Stitches After Fall

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -
Former President Jimmy Carter speaks at the Ryman Auditorium, Oct. 6, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Courtney Pedroza/The Tennessean via AP)

Former President Jimmy Carter had a black eye and 14 stitches after falling Sunday at his Georgia home, but made it to an evening concert in Tennessee to rally volunteers ahead of his 36th home building project for Habitat for Humanity.

The 39th president fell earlier in the day at his home in Plains, Georgia, and required the stitches above his brow. By Sunday evening, Carter was on stage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with his wife Rosalynn, 92, to talk to volunteers and supporters of the building project that runs through Friday.

Carter turned 95 last Tuesday, becoming the first U.S. president to reach that milestone.

He told the crowd Sunday evening that he had to go to the hospital and get 14 stitches, “but I had a No. 1 priority and that was to come to Nashville and build houses.”

Carter wore a baseball cap, but his left eye was swollen and bruised and he had a white bandage above his eye.

Twenty-one homes are scheduled to be built in a neighborhood in Nashville.

Carter survived a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015 and surpassed George H.W. Bush as the longest-lived U.S. president in history this spring. He has had some trouble walking after a hip replacement in May, but regularly teaches Sunday School.

Meanwhile, he has continued with his humanitarian work. And he also has occasionally weighed in on politics and policy, recently expressing hopes that his Carter Center will become a more forceful advocate against armed conflicts in the future, including “wars by the United States.”

“I just want to keep the whole world at peace,” Carter had said as he presented his annual Carter Center report last month. “We have been at war more than 226 years. We have been at peace for about 16 years” since the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he said, adding that every U.S. military conflict from the Korean War onward has been a war of “choice.”

Carter also has been accepting visits from several 2020 presidential candidates of late, but he’s held back on endorsing any of his fellow Democrats, offering few clues about his thoughts of the campaign.