William "Billy" Alton Carter

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William "Billy" Alton Carter

Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: Plains, Georgia, United States
Death: September 25, 1988 (51)
Plains, Georgia, United States (pancreatic cancer )
Immediate Family:

Son of James Earl Carter, Sr. and Bessie Lillian Gordy
Husband of Private
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private; Private and 1 other
Brother of James Earl Carter, Jr.; Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States; Gloria Spann and Ruth Stapleton

Occupation: Billy Beer Spokesman, gas station proprietor and farmer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William "Billy" Alton Carter

Billy Carter is the younger brother of United States President Jimmy Carter.

Carter attended Emory University in the Atlanta area but did not complete a degree. He served four years in the United States Marine Corps, then returned to Plains to work with his brother in the family business of growing peanuts. In 1955, he married Sybil Spires (born 1938), also of Plains, Georgia. They were the parents of six: Kim, Jana, William "Buddy", Marle, Mandy and Earl, who was just 12 years old when his father died.

Billy Carter ran for mayor of Plains in 1976, but lost the election.

In 1977, he endorsed Billy Beer capitalizing upon his colorful image as a beer-drinking Southern boy that had developed in the press when his brother ran for President. Carter's name was occasionally used as a gag answer for a Washington, D.C., trouble-maker on 1970s episodes of The Match Game. Carter was known for his outlandish public behavior. For example, he once urinated on an airport runway in full view of the press and dignitaries.

In late 1978 and early 1979, Billy Carter visited Libya three times with a contingent from Georgia. He eventually registered as a foreign agent of the Libyan government and received a $220,000 loan. This led to a Senate hearing over alleged influence peddling which some in the press dubbed "Billygate." A Senate sub-committee was called To Investigate Activities of Individuals Representing Interests of Foreign Governments (Billy Carter-Libya Investigation).

Billy Beer was a beer first made in the United States of America in 1977, by the Falls City Brewing Company. It was promoted by Billy Carter, Billy Carter was selected as spokesman for the beer because his brother, who was president, was widely known to enjoy drinking beer. However, it was also known that Jimmy Carter's brand of choice was Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Written on each can were these words of endorsement, which were followed by Billy Carter's signature:

Brewed expressly for and with the personal approval of one of America's all-time great beer drinkers - Billy Carter.

I had this beer brewed just for me. I think it's the best I've ever tasted. And I've tasted a lot. I think you'll like it, too.

After the failure of Billy Beer, Carter sold his house to settle back taxes with the IRS.

In September 1988, Carter was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and took unsuccessful treatments for the disease. He died in Plains at the age of 51. His parents and both of his sisters also died from pancreatic cancer.

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William "Billy" Alton Carter's Timeline

1937
March 29, 1937
Plains, Georgia, United States
1988
September 25, 1988
Age 51
Plains, Georgia, United States
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