Hon. John Carro

Hon. John Carro

Hon. John Carro was born in Orocovis, Puerto Rico on August 21, 1927. His family moved to United States when he was 10 years old, and he grew up in the Harlem section of New York. He served in the United States Navy from 1945 to 1947 and received an honorable discharge as a First Lieutenant from the United States Army Reserve in 1949. He graduated from Fordham University with his B.A. degree in 1949. He pursued a law degree and graduated with his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School in 1952. Shortly thereafter he became a probation officer in the Children’s Division of the Domestic Relations Court until 1954. He became a New York City Police Officer but resigned after a month to work directly with young people to prevent their involvement in the Criminal Justice System. He joined the New City Youth Board and worked with the ‘street gang project’ until 1958.

In 1956, he was admitted to practice law and was appointed to the State Commission Against Discrimination as a field representative. He became the Associate Director for Mobilization for Youth, a joint private, city/state funded youth development program. From 1960 to 1965, he was Assistant to Mayor Robert F. Wagner becoming the first Puerto Rican to serve in that position. During that time, he was called as a witness during the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). He had knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald because he was assigned to his case of truancy during his days as a probation officer. In 1969, he was appointed to the Criminal Court by Mayor John V. Lindsay and became an acting Supreme Court Justice in 1976. He was elected in 1977 as a Supreme Court Justice for Bronx County. In 1979, he was appointed to the Appellate Division, First Department where he became the first Puerto Rican Appellate Court Justice. In 1984, he received a Masters of Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law and in 1987, he was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Medal by New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

In 1988, he was nominated as a Federal Judge, but his nomination was sat on for three years by the Reagan and Bush administration until he withdrew. He remained in the Appellate Division, First Department until his retirement in 1994 where he entered private practice. He established the firm Carro, Velez, Carro & Mitchell with his son, which is known today as Carro, Carro & Mitchell a personal injury firm in New York City. He was the founder and former Chairman of the Puerto Rican Forum and Aspira, the former President of the  Puerto Rican Bar Association, former President of the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage, Inc. and an adjunct professor at CUNY and Fordham University. Four of his seven children are lawyers, and one is a judge.