The Third District’s first chief judge, Charles A. Carroll, was born in 1898 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a veteran of both World Wars. He earned distinction as a pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War I, achieving the rank of second lieutenant. In World War II, he served his country again as a lieutenant commander and legal officer for the Coast Guard Seventh Naval District.
Between the wars, Judge Carroll earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. He graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1923. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1924 and practiced for a short time in New York City.
In 1925, Judge Carroll joined the Miami law firm of George J. “Duke” Baya. That firm dissolved in 1928. He then joined the law firm of Shutts and Bowen, where he practiced until 1937. Judge Carroll later formed a partnership with attorney Hollis Reinhart, Jr., whom he practiced with until he was appointed a legal officer for the Coast Guard Seventh Naval District in 1942.
Governor Millard Caldwell appointed Judge Carroll to the Dade County Circuit Court in 1946. He was reelected each term until he was appointed by Governor LeRoy Collins to be one of the first three judges on the Third District Court of Appeal in 1957.
Judge Carroll was selected to be the Third District’s first chief judge. In that position, he developed procedures for operation of the Court that have stood the test of time. In recognition of his exemplary service, he was elected to a second term as chief judge from 1967 through 1968.
Judge Carroll retired from the Court in 1974 at the age of seventy-six, but continued to serve on occasion as an associate judge. The article about his retirement published on the editorial page of The Miami Herald was headlined: “Pillar of Integrity.”
Judge Carroll was known to be an outstanding tennis player and excellent golfer. He was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, the OX5 Club of America, the American Legion and the Military Order of World Wars.
Judge Carroll died on November 9, 1982. He was survived by his wife of more than fifty-five years, Mary Barthell of Nashville, Tennessee. Other survivors included his son and namesake, Charles A. Carroll, Jr. and three grandchildren.