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Hugh Carter

Hugh Carter
Member of the Georgia State Senate
from the 14th district
In office
January 9, 1967 – January 12, 1981
Preceded byJimmy Carter
Succeeded byLewis H. McKenzie
Personal details
Hugh Alton Carter

(1920-08-13)August 13, 1920
Plains, Georgia, U.S.
DiedJune 24, 1999(1999-06-24) (aged 78)
Americus, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseRuth Godwin Carter
RelativesJimmy Carter (cousin)
  • Politician
  • businessman
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
U.S. Army Reserve

Hugh Alton Carter (August 13, 1920 – June 24, 1999) was an American politician and businessman from Georgia. He was also the first cousin of U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

Early life and education

Born in Plains, Georgia, Carter served in World War II as a United States Army lieutenant seeing combat in Europe. After the war, Carter remained in the reserves and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1964.[1] Carter graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University, during a time when it was a two-year college, then from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in industrial engineering, and followed by an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.[2]

Political career

Carter served seven terms (14 years) in the Georgia State Senate, from 1967 until 1981 and was a Democrat.[3] He represented District 14, and succeeded his cousin future-President Jimmy Carter in that post.[4] He represented eight Georgia rural counties, and served as chairman of the Senate Education Committee and was a senior member of the Appropriations, Rules and Fiscal Affairs Committees.

Business ventures

Carter owned a bait shop and a general (later antique) store.[5] In 1949, Carter started a third business growing fish bait. Originally limited to crickets, he later expanded into worms. By the mid-1950s, Carter was selling worms nationwide and laying claim to the title of "the world's largest worm farmer", producing more than 60 million a year.[1][5] Carter wrote six pamphlets on worm and cricket farming, the best seller in 1958 was 18 Secrets of Successful Worm Raising [6][7] The pamphlet originally sold for $1.00. When Carter raised the price to $2.95 sales grew even faster.[5] In 1978, he wrote a book: Cousin Beedie and Cousin Hot: My life with the Carter Family from Plains, Georgia.[8] The book drew the wrath of aunt Lillian Carter and cousin Billy Carter. In the book, he had referred to the President's mother as "domineering", while offering his opinion of Presidential brother, Billy: "He's not a redneck, but can make money as a redneck". Shortly after the book's publication, Carter drew a political opponent. Peanut farmer Malcolm "Chicken" Wishard, was backed by Hugh Carter's aggrieved aunt Lillian and cousin Billy. However, Wishard's campaign slogan "Help the Chicken take the Worm", failed to inspire voters, and Carter was re-elected to another term in the State Senate.[5]

Later years

Carter retired from the State Senate in 1981. His bait growing business suffered declining sales in the 1990s, and he closed it in 1996.


At the age of 78, Carter died in Americus, Georgia, on June 24, 1999.[1][9]


  1. ^ a b c Wolfgang Saxon (June 28, 1999). "Hugh Carter Sr., 78, Bait-seller and aide to his cousin Jimmy". New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Members of the Georgia General Assembly - 135th Session - Term 1979-1980". State of Georgia. January 1980. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  4. ^ 'Sen. Hugh Carter Retiring', Rome News-Tribune (Georgia), March 10, 1980, pg. 2
  5. ^ a b c d Rupert Cornwell (June 28, 1999). "Obituary: Hugh Carter". Independent. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  6. ^ Carter, Hugh (1958). 18 Secrets of Successful Worm Raising. H. Carter. ASIN B0006RZ0OS.
  7. ^ Over 300 Questions and Answers on Worm Raising. Carter Worm Farm. 1978.
  8. ^ Hugh Alton Carter; Frances Spatz Leighton (January 1, 1978). Cousin Beedie and Cousin Hot: My Life with the Carter Family of Plains, Georgia. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-185470-3.
  9. ^ Political Graveyard
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Hugh Carter
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