Former Doorkeeper Carter Dies at Age 90

Posted April 13, 2005 at 6:44pm

James Carter, the former House Doorkeeper known to his peers as Jimmy, died Tuesday from cancer. He was 90.

Born March 30, 1915, in Mississippi, Carter came to Washington, D.C., as a teenager. He started what would become a nearly 60-year career on Capitol Hill on the House side in 1934.

Four years later, he moved to the Senate, where he remained until 1950. He then returned to the other side to take a job with the Clerk of the House, followed by posts with the Architect of the Capitol and the Sergeant-at-Arms. Carter’s final Hill duty was as a Doorkeeper of the House, a position he held until his retirement on April 21, 1991.

Carter, an active member of the Congressional Staff Club, was known as the “Oyster Man” around the Hill, as he would sell oysters on the side. He also was chided about his name during Jimmy Carter’s presidential term.

Carter, who resided in Washington, D.C., until his death, is survived by his seven children and his grandchildren.

— Jennifer Lash