E. Eugene Carter was born in Wichita in 1941 and attended public schools there, graduating from Wichita High School East in 1960. He was an F. C. Austin Scholar at Northwestern University, earning a BS in 1964. He was awarded a National Defense Education Act Fellowship to Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned both his MS and PhD degrees in industrial administration with the help of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award.
Mr. Carter taught finance at Harvard Business School and was a visiting associate professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, teaching in the Boston area from 1968 to 1977.
While at Harvard, he was introduced to his future wife, Rita M. Rodriguez who interviewed for a teaching position in the fall of 1968. A Cuban immigrant, Ms. Rodriguez arrived in Miami in 1960 when she was 16 and a high school graduate. She attended the Lindsay-Hopkins Vocational School, studying bookkeeping. She graduated from the Puerto Rico Junior College and the University of Puerto Rico, earning a BS in accounting. She then attended New York University, after she had saved enough money to attend for one semester of economics. NYU saw great promise in Dr. Rodriguez and subsequently financed her through her PhD in international economics. She taught international finance and was the first full-time female professor at Harvard Business School.
Drs. Carter and Rodriguez were married in 1972. They authored a textbook entitled International Financial Management through three editions. The couple moved to Chicago in 1977 where Mr. Carter was head of the finance department at the University of Illinois. In 1978, their daughter, Adela-Marie, was born. She graduated from Skidmore College magna cum laude, with honors in mathematics, and became a graphic designer in New York City. She currently creates and teaches programs in slackline yoga throughout the United States and abroad, and resides in Puerto Rico.
In 1982, the family moved to Washington, D.C. after Ms. Rodriguez was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as an Independent Director of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Affirmed by Presidents George H. W. Bush and William J. Clinton, she held this position for 16 years. She then became a Senior Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Institute at Georgetown University until it closed in 2013. She also serves or has served on various corporate boards, including Ensco, Philips Van Heusen (PVH), Affiliated Managers Group (AMG), and the Private Export Funding Corporations (PEFCO).
Mr. Carter served as associate dean of the College of Business and professor of finance at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also was a private investor in A. G. Edwards, and served over 30 years as a public director. He was lead director and chair of the audit committee until the firm was sold in 2007.
Mr. Carter is a distant relative of Robert Carter III (1727-1804) of Virginia. Robert Carter III’s grandfather, Robert “King” Carter, was a colonial Governor of Virginia, and was considered the richest man in North America with 300,000 acres of land. Robert Carter III lost both his father and grandfather when he was four, but continued to be a plantation owner with 78,000 acres at the time of the American Revolution. He was noted for freeing over 500 of his slaves, beginning in 1791, 70 years before the Civil War, the largest manumission by an individual in the United States. His decision, for which wealthy white gentry largely ostracized him, came from considerations of religion and conscience. He retired to Maryland to live with his wife’s family and is buried in an unmarked grave.