At 95 years old, Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, still builds houses with Habitat For Humanity. Right now, though, Carter is recuperating from a fall in his Plains, Georgia home Monday that has landed him in the hospital.

A statement says Carter was admitted to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center "for observation and treatment of a minor pelvic fracture." He received 14 stitches above his left eyebrow and sustained a black eye as a result of a fall earlier this month. It is the third time Carter has fallen this year but he keeps getting up. Carter is as tough as the nails he uses to build houses.

Jimmy Carter and his 93-year-old wife Rosalynn live a simple life in Plains. From time to time, he speaks out on one political issue or another but for the most part, Carter is content to stay out of the limelight.

Carter is the oldest living U.S. president. He served from 1977 to 1981 during a turbulent time marked by the end of the Vietnam War, gas shortages, high interest rates and American hostages in Iran. He has survived brain and liver cancer and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Carter was raised on his father's rural farm in Depression-era Georgia. His father was a segregationist who employed black sharecroppers. His mother was a nurse. Carter's best friends were the sons of the sharecroppers who lived on his parent's land but due to segregation, they attended separate schools. He learned to hunt with slingshots and boomerangs and most always went barefoot while doing farm chores.

Carter wrote of his youth in a remarkably candid autobiography, An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood, which I've read twice. It provides an understanding of who Carter is and how his value system was formed. It also gives a first-hand account of what life was like during the early years of the last century. I recommend it.

I was never much of a fan of Jimmy Carter's politics but have always respected him greatly as a man, who through all of the craziness of Washington, was able to hang on to his guiding principles and beliefs. He's lived his life in a very uncompromising way that reflects those views.

God speed, Mr. President. Get well soon and get back to your work building houses. There are Americans that are still counting on you.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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