Thomas R. Carter was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and attended Melrose High School in the Orange Mound community. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1957, learning to operate electronic accounting machines (EAM). He was the first African American to attend the IBM Corporation school in Miami, Florida. In 1962 Carter joined Olin Mathison Chemical Company in New York City and studied programming at the RCA Institute. He was the first African American programmer at Olin Mathison, as well as the U.S. Trust Company. After moving to the IBM Corporation plant in Brooklyn, New York, Carter was transferred to IBM's Mohansic Research Laboratory. He was later assigned to an Atlanta facility and moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1976. Carter retired from IBM in 1988. Shortly after moving to Marietta, Carter met Oscar Freeman, President of the Cobb County Branch of the NAACP from 1982 to 1986. Due to Carter's efforts, the Freeman's NAACP office had one of the first personal computers.
Interview with Thomas R. Carter transcript, 2009-10-19, Cobb NAACP/Civil Rights series, 2009-2010, Kennesaw State University Oral History Project, 1973- , KSU/45/05/001, Kennesaw State University Archives.
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