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Doyle Elam Carlton

Gov. Doyle Elam Carlton

  • January 8, 1929 - January 3, 1933
  • Democratic
  • July 6, 1885
  • October 25, 1972
  • Florida
  • Stetson University; University of Chicago; Columbia University
  • Married Nellie Ray; Three Children


DOYLE ELAM CARLTON, Florida’s 25th governor, was born in Wauchula, Florida, on July 6, 1885. He graduated from Stetson University in 1909, earned an A.B. degree from the University of Chicago in 1910, and received his law degree from Columbia University in 1912. After establishing a law career in Tampa, Carlton entered into politics. He was a member of the Florida State Senate from 1917 to 1919, and he was the city attorney for Tampa from 1925 to 1927. Carlton won the 1928 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected Governor of Florida. During his tenure, he encountered four major adversities – a violent hurricane in 1928, the disintegration of the state’s land growth, the infestation of the Mediterranean fruit fly, and the national Depression of 1929 – which all caused disorder within the state. Also, new banking legislation was enacted, state salaries were decreased, and a three-cent gasoline tax was initiated in an effort to develop highway construction. A state tax commission and a state-purchasing agency were established to stop overspending in government. After leaving office on January 3, 1933, Carlton ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1936. In 1957, he was appointed to the Federal Civil Rights Commission, where he served until 1961. In 1961 he became a member of the National Agricultural Advisory Commission, a position he held until 1963. Governor Doyle E. Carlton died on October 25, 1972, and he is buried at the Myrtle Hill Memorial Park in Tampa.


Florida State Archives holds the official papers of Governor Doyle Elam Carlton.

Museum of Florida History: Florida Governors’ Portraits

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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