Amon Gary Carter, Jr., publisher, civic leader, and philanthropist, son of Amon G. and Nenetta (Burton) Carter, was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 23, 1919. As a youth he sold newspapers on a corner in downtown Fort Worth. During his teens he worked in the summers as a copy boy, staff photographer, and advertising salesman for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He graduated from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, in 1938. He served in the army during World War II and was captured by German forces in North Africa in 1943. He subsequently spent twenty-seven months as a prisoner of war near Szubin, Poland, where he published a clandestine camp newspaper and established an unofficial pipeline for packages from home.
After the war, Carter attended the University of Texas and graduated in June 1946. He was appointed treasurer of the Star-Telegram and in 1952 became president of its parent corporation, Carter Publications, Incorporated. In 1955 he succeeded his father as publisher of the Star-Telegram, a position he held until his death. He influenced the move of American Airlines (see AMR CORPORATION) from New York City to Fort Worth. As its second largest stockholder, he also brought the Texas Rangers baseball team to the area. His long list of civic activities included service on the boards of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the Amon Carter Museum, the West Texas Chamber of Commerce, and Texas Christian University.
From 1955 until his death, Carter was the president of the Amon G. Carter Foundation and oversaw the distribution of over $60 million to charitable and cultural organizations. His many honors included the B'nai B'rith Gold Medallion and the Boy Scouts' Silver Beaver Award. He was a renowned collector who built one of the largest coin collections in the country. He also helped found the International Paper Money Society and was appointed to the United States Assay Commission. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and an independent Democrat who supported political leaders regardless of party. Carter and his wife, George Ann (Brown), had a daughter and two sons. He died in Dallas of a heart attack on July 24, 1982.