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Billy Carter is best known for his connections to his brother, Jimmy Carter, the former President of the United States.
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And it had no legal consequences for Billy. He had to repaid the loan and register as an agent of the Libyan government. Still the whole incident had cast a dark cloud over Jimmy Carter’s campaign and may have contributed to his eventual defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980 election.
Not too long after one scandal quieted down,
Carter was immersed in another. This time he had to grapple with the Internal Revenue Service. In 1981, he had to sell his gas station, the home that he and his family had lived in for years, and other property to pay off his tax bill. Carter had neglected to properly account for income from speaking engagements and other appearances.
After losing his home, Carter moved to Alabama to work for Tidwell Industries, a company that made mobile homes and worked on private planes. Then the entire Carter family suffered two tremendous losses in 1983. Their sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton, died of pancreatic cancer in September and their mother, Lillian Carter, died of cancer six weeks later. In addition to his personal hardship, Billy ran into more legal hassles in 1985 as vice president of Scott Housing Systems. He pled guilty to charges related to an invoice padding scandal, according to The New York Times.
Behind of his good ol’ boy façade, Carter was actually very intelligent and well-read. He was disturbed by how of the press portrayed him as a redneck and a dimwit, but he also was committed to not conforming to the traditional image of a presidential sibling. Sober for years, Carter had put his hard-drinking ways to rest in 1979 after a stint in rehab. But this could not have prevented him from getting a disease that seems to have haunted the Carter family. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1987. After undergoing surgery and experimental treatments, Billy Carter succumbed to the disease on September 25, 1988, in Plains, Georgia.
Carter was survived by his wife, their four daughters and two sons, as well as several grandchildren. His sister, Gloria Spann, also died of pancreatic cancer in 1990.
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