As Jimmy Carter undergoes cancer treatment, people worldwide are crediting the former president with addressing diseases and other issues that had long been ignored.

Carter founded The Carter Center in 1982 after losing his bid for a second presidential term. He wanted the humanitarian organization to focus on work that others would not tackle, including treatment of people with painful and debilitating diseases like Guinea worm or river blindness.

Election monitoring also made The Carter Center a global presence. Experts say Carter's involvement set firm standards for the field.

The 90-year-old's decades of humanitarian work earned him a 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

Officials at the center say Carter prepared the Atlanta-based organization to carry on. His grandson, former Georgia state senator Jason Carter, will become board chairman in November.