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Earl Jackson Carroll, Sr.

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1931-2020 Miami, FL

Regardless of whether your acquaintance with him was fond or faint, you’d know that he was a man of candor, fervor, and valor.  However, he was most affectionately known as having a warm and generous spirit.  Earl Jackson Carroll was adorned with numerous titles-politician, businessman, landlord, and mentor, but his greatest badge of honor was that of a family man. He carried this honor until his death on the evening of November 2, 2020.  He was approaching the wise age of 89.

Earl Jackson Carroll, the second child of Whitfield Alexander and Una Gerline Johnson Carroll, made his debut in Miami’s Overtown on Friday, November 13, 1931, at a strapping 13 pounds.  His mother predicted that he would be special.  Indeed, this mother’s intuition came to pass as her baby boy grew up to become the first and only black Dade County Commissioner to win a countywide election.

Earl spent his early years with an older brother, Whitfield Charles, who later became one of the first City of Miami black plainclothes detectives, and two younger sisters, Jean Carroll Morley, now a retired Dade County Public Schools Educator, and Judy Wilcher Nelson, a retired copy editor/writer with the Miami-Dade County Transit Department. 

Young Earl was nearly three years old when his father died in 1934. His mother struggled to support the children and eventually sent the two boys to live with uncles in Nassau, Bahamas.  Earl was eight years old when he rejoined his mother and sisters in Miami, FL. 

Earl attended Dunbar Elementary School.  Always confident and never shy, he actively sought odd jobs around Overtown into his teenage years, promising his mother to one day buy her a house, which he did in 1967.   In 1949, he graduated from Booker T. Washington Senior High School.  During his graduation ceremony, he left the line to hand his diploma to his mother.  He said, “Here mama. This is yours.”  After high school, he worked for a year for the Pullman Company and then relocated to Chicago, Illinois. He then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. 

After receiving an honorable discharge from the military in 1954, Earl lived in Chicago working as a law clerk for a prominent black attorney, poet, and songwriter, William Henry Huff.  In 1957, he returned to Miami and then enrolled in Florida A & M University where he earned a four-year degree in Political Science in just two and a half years. 

Earl’s interests in Miami politics ignited in the early 1960s.  He subsequently served on the City of Miami Planning Board, as President of the Young Democrats, and ran for the state legislature, garnering 49,000 votes and forcing the white incumbent into a run-off.  Although he did not win that election, many in the community and around the country sent him congratulatory letters and telegrams for making it to the run-off. 

In the mid-1960s, Earl operated the Earl Carroll Insurance Agency in Liberty City with co-owner George Smith. However, he remained active in politics.  In the late 1960s, he appeared before the County Commission to push for district voting.  Then to the astonishment of many, he ran for and won the District 3 seat on the Board of County Commissioners in 1968.  Earl Carroll had arrived, no longer an unknown, as some seasoned politicos once labeled him. While on the commission he served as Vice-Chairman and introduced fair housing legislation still in effect today.  Earl fought for district voting and other laws that benefited minorities.  His legacy remains in his efforts in helping to open the door for other African Americans to serve on the County Commission. The door he opened on the County Commission remained the “Black” seat until the courts ordered commissioners to create districts to give minority voters better representation on the Board. After retiring from politics, Earl Carroll settled his family in the El Portal community and earned a living investing in real estate and working behind the scenes to help those who sought his counsel. 

Earl’s youngest son Earl Jr.(Man), his parents Whitfield Alexander and Una Gerline Johnson Carroll, and older brother Whitfield Charles Carroll preceded him in death.

He is survived by his loving wife Lucille; eldest son Steven Carroll; daughters Tasha Carroll-Seals (Troy), Awana Carroll-Russell (Cedric), Tarnell Carroll, and Taya Dupree; sisters Jean C. Morley and Judy W. Nelson; and a host of grandchildren, faithful caretakers, and numerous relatives and friends.

  • 11/13/1931
  • 11/02/2020
  • United States
  • Earl
  • Jackson
  • Lucille Carroll (Wife)
  • Lucille Carroll
  • Range Funeral Home 5727 NW 17th Ave Miami, FL 33150
  • 11/19/2020
  • 3pm - 6pm
  • (Graveside Service)
    Caballeros Dignity Memorial Cemetery
    11655 SW 117th Ave
    Miami, FL 33186

  • 11/20/2020 at 12pm
  • Caballeros Dignity Memorial Cemetery
  • Caballeros Dignity Memorial Cemetery
    11655 SW 117th Ave
    Miami, FL 33186

  • In Appreciation
    The family of the late Earl Carroll, Sr. wishes to express their appreciation and gratitude for the many expressions of love received from friends and family during our time of bereavement. May God continue to bless each and every one of you.
    - Nehemiah 4:6
    - Psalm 23 Old Testament
    - John 14:1-6 New Testament

WP Funeral Home

WP Funeral Home

The Memorial Times
9999 N.E. 2nd Ave. Suite 310
Miami, Florida 33138


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