Carter to remain in hospital Wednesday night, cancels appearances

CLEVELAND, OH (RNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter will remain in an Ohio hospital Wednesday night, one day after falling ill aboard an airplane bound for a Cleveland, OH book signing. Doctors have decided to monitor him throughout the night and report that he is "in good spirits," despite a flurry of canceled appearances.

"Former President Jimmy Carter will remain at MetroHealth Medical Center overnight," said Eileen Korey, vice president of communications at MetroHeatlth System, in a joint statement with the Carter Center. "His medical team continues to observe his progress.  President Carter is in very good spirits, appreciates all the good wishes being sent his way, and looks forward to getting back to his busy schedule."

The two groups said they expect this to be the only update on Carter until Wednesday morning.

A statement released by the hospital Tuesday night seemed to indicate that Carter would be released Wednesday.

"He is fully alert and participating in all decision-making related to his cure. The decision to admit him overnight is purely precautionary," said the hospital.

Because of his hospitalization, several scheduled stops on Carter's book tour were canceled, said Kathy Daneman, a publicist with Carter's publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

In Washington, D.C., The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program confirmed on its website that a lecture and book signing scheduled for Wednesday at the Smithsonian Institute was canceled.

"Unfortunately, President Carter is still in ill health, and is unable to be with us this evening," said the SRA Program. "The program with him has been canceled. We will follow up with all participants regarding the books and refunds for the program."

A Thursday book signing at the Village of Sandhill Books-A-Million store in Columbia, SC also has also been canceled.

Carter's grandson, newly elected Georgia State Sen. Jason Carter posted on his Facebook page Tuesday that his grandfather was "doing fine -- resting comfortably, and will continue his book tour this week."

The 39th president of the United States, who turns 86 Friday, had been scheduled to sign copies of his latest publication, "White House Diary." A statement posted on The Carter Center's website indicated that Carter would resume his schedule as soon as possible.

Hundreds of people had been gathered outside the bookstore in anticipation of Carter's arrival, but the event was canceled some time around 2 p.m.

CNN confirmed that paramedics were waiting on scene for an initial check-up when his plane landed at Hopkins International Airport Tuesday morning. He was admitted to the hospital at 11:30 a.m. ET.

"I drove a long way," said Carter fan Don Lott. "I feel bad for the President, though, to come this far and get sick on the airplane."

Carter has been a prolific writer since his departure from the presidential scene. "White House Diary" is his 24th book.

In addition to his writing, Carter remains involved with the Carter Center, which plays an active role in the public policy arena. The center's mission statement says that it is "guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health."

The center is housed at Emory University, where Carter has been teaching for the past 29 years.

Carter last made headlines on Aug. 27, when he landed in Boston, MA, after completing a private humanitarian initiative in North Korea. Carter flew to the nation's capital city, Pyongyang, to bring home American Ailjalon Mahli Gomes, who at the time was facing an eight-year hard labor sentence for crossing into North Korea's border without permission.

Carter came from humble beginnings, born in the farming community of Plains, GA in 1924.

In 1946, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. Carter rose to the rank of lieutenant before being placed in the Navy's nuclear submarine program. As part of his assignment, Carter studied nuclear physics at the graduate level.

In 1953, the former president retired from the Navy upon his father's passing. He returned to Plains to open a farm supply company and held numerous local public offices before he was sworn in as governor of Georgia on Jan. 12, 1971. This led to a chairmanship at the DNC in 1974 and his presidency in 1976.

Carter's presidency is remembered for its foreign policy accomplishments, which included establishing diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, the Camp David Accords and the Salt II Treaty. On the home front, Carter was a reformer of education and the environment with legislation like the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The Carter Presidential Center was dedicated in his memory in October 1986.

On Dec. 10, 2002, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."

Carter's family includes First Lady Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter, children John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey, Amy Lynn, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information for this article was gathered from the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum website at and the Carter Center website at

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