Ash Carter Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Height, Net Worth

Ash Carter Biography

Ashton Baldwin Carter was an American military civilian figure who served as the 25th Secretary of Defense from February 2015 to January 2017. He was born on September 24, 1954, and passed away on October 24, 2022. His death occurred on October 24, 2022. Later in his career, he held the position of director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Carter began his professional life working in the field of physics. After some time spent working as an analyst for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, he decided to go into the field of public policy instead. In 1984, he began his career in academia by becoming the chair of the International and Global Affairs faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During the first term of President Clinton, from 1993 to 1996, Carter was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy. In this role, he was responsible for policy regarding the countries that formerly comprised the Soviet Union, as well as strategic affairs and nuclear weapons.

During the first term of President Obama, he served in the roles of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and then, beginning in January 2011, Deputy Secretary of Defense, a position he held until December 2013. He succeeded Chuck Hagel in the position of Secretary of Defense in February 2015 and remained in that role until the end of the Obama administration. One of the most important things he did when he was in charge of the department was lift the ban on transgender officers serving in the armed forces. This change in policy was only in effect for one year before it was reversed by the Trump administration. In 2016, Carter made it possible for women to serve in every single enlisted and officer capacity in the military. In the past, only men were allowed to serve in certain areas of the military, such as infantry, armor, reconnaissance, and some special operations units. This event would mark the first time in the history of the United States that women who met the necessary requirements would be permitted to contribute to those areas of the military.

Carter was presented with the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal on five separate times in recognition of his contributions to the protection of the nation’s security. In recognition of his significant contributions to the intelligence community, he was awarded the CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award as well as the Defense Intelligence Medal. Carter wrote or co-wrote 11 books and more than 100 papers on physics, technology, national security, and management. His topics of expertise included management, technology, and national security.

Early life 

On September 24th, 1954, Ashton Baldwin Carter was born in the city of Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania. His father is William Stanley Carter Jr., a World War II veteran who served in the Navy as a neurologist and psychiatrist. For the past 30 years, he has been the department head at Abington Memorial Hospital. His mother, Anne Baldwin Carter, is an educator who specializes in English. He has three siblings, one of which is the novelist Cynthia DeFelice, who writes books for children. When he was a kid, people used to call him Ash and Stoobie.

Wheatsheaf Lane was where Carter spent his childhood years in Abington, Pennsylvania.

At the age of 11, he was working at a car wash in Philadelphia for the first time when he was terminated for “wise-mouthing the proprietor.”


Abington, Massachusetts is where Carter received his education. He attended Highland Elementary School (class of 1966) and Abington Senior High School (class of 1972). In high school, he excelled in a number of sports, including wrestling, lacrosse, and cross-country running, and he also served as president of the Honor Society.   In 1989, he was recognized with entry into the Hall of Fame at Abington Senior High School.

In the spring of 1975, he enrolled in the University of Edinburgh, which is located in Scotland.

In 1976, Carter graduated with honors from Yale College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both physics and medieval history. He was awarded summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

In 1975, the article “Quarks, Charm, and the Psi Particle” that he wrote for his senior thesis was published in Yale Scientific.

In 1975, he worked as an experimental research associate at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (where he was responsible for quark research), and in 1976, he held the same position at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

After that, Carter was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship and attended the University of Oxford to further his education. In 1979, he was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy in theoretical physics for his research on Hard processes in perturbative QCD, which was directed by Christopher Llewellyn Smith.  He attended St. John’s College, which is located in Oxford.

Following his doctoral studies, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and research associate in theoretical physics at Rockefeller University from 1979 until 1980. During that period, he focused on researching time-reversal invariance and the breaking of dynamical symmetry.

After that, he worked as a research fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies from 1982 until 1984. During that time, he published a report in which he concluded that the “Star Wars” initiative proposed by Ronald Reagan could not protect the United States from a nuclear attack launched by the Soviet Union.

Academic career 

From 1984 to 1986, Carter was an assistant professor at Harvard University. From 1986 to 1988, he was an associate professor at Harvard University. From 1988 to 1990, he was a professor and associate director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. From 1990 to 1993, Carter was the director of the center.   He went on to become the chair of the International and Global Affairs department at the Kennedy School, as well as the Ford Foundation Professor of Science and International Affairs. During this time, he also served as a co-director of the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford University and Harvard University.

Early Department of Defense career 

During the first term of President Clinton, Carter was appointed to the position of assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. He held this position from 1993 to 1996.   He was in charge of strategic affairs, which included dealing with the threat of weapons of mass destruction in other parts of the world, nuclear weapons policy (which included oversight of the United States’ nuclear arsenal and missile defenses), the 1994 Nuclear Posture Review, the Agreed Framework signed in 1994 that froze North Korea’s plutonium-producing nuclear reactor program, the 1995 extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the negotiation of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the 1996 Nuclear Non-Prolife  During the crisis in 1994 caused by North Korea’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons, Carter was in charge of military preparation.  He was the chairman of NATO’s High Level Group and was also in charge of dealing with the establishment of defense and intelligence relationships with former Soviet countries after the fall of the Soviet Union and its nuclear arsenal. In addition to this, he was responsible for dealing with the establishment of defense and intelligence relationships with former Soviet countries.  In addition to this, he was in charge of the Counter Proliferation Initiative, the regulation of sensitive exports from the United States, and the discussions that led to the deployment of Russian troops in Bosnia as part of the Bosnia Peace Plan Implementation Force.

Carter served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics from April 2009 until October 2011, during which time he was responsible for the Department of Defense’s procurement reform and innovation agenda as well as the completion of procurements such as the KC-46 tanker.

In addition to this, he was in charge of the creation and construction of thousands of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, as well as other purchases.

He did this by establishing a program called “Better Buying Power,” which aimed to make purchasing more strategic and efficient.

Carter served as the Deputy Secretary of Defense from October 2011 until December 2013, during which time he also held the position of chief operating officer for the Department of Defense (DOD), was in charge of the department’s annual budget as well as its three million civilian and military personnel, guided the department’s strategy and budget through the sequester, and directed the reform of the DOD’s national security export controls.
He was given approval for both seats through a voice vote in the Senate.
In a speech he gave on April 4, 2013, he affirmed that President Obama’s “Shift to Asia” initiative was a priority that would not be impacted by the budget sequester in 2013. According to Carter, “The Shift to Asia” is primarily an economic issue that has new security repercussions to consider. It was indicated that India, Australia, and New Zealand could be potential future partners in terms of security.   His responsibilities at the Pentagon with regards to arms-control included matters regarding the START II, ABM, and CFE treaties, along with other arms-control agreements.

Secretary of Defense 

On December 5, 2014, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Carter to serve as the 25th Secretary of Defense of the United States of America.

During the hearing for his nomination before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he stated that he was “very much inclined” to enhance the amount of military assistance that the United States provides to Ukraine.

When asked about the Middle East, he said that the United States must use its military to achieve a “lasting defeat” of troops affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
He stated that he does not support accelerating the rate at which prisoners are released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

In addition, he was of the opinion that the dangers posed by Iran were equally as grave as those faced by the forces of ISIL.

On February 1, 2015, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to recommend Carter for confirmation. This recommendation received unanimous support. On February 12, a vote of 93 to 5 was cast in the Senate to confirm him, and on February 17, Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath of office to him.

During a private ceremony held at the White House, Vice President Joe Biden administers the oath of office to Ash Carter, who will serve as the 25th Secretary of Defense. Carter’s wife, Stephanie, watches the proceedings.

In May of 2015, Carter sent a warning to China, urging them to stop the fast construction of islands in the South China Sea.

In October 2015, Carter voiced his disapproval of Russian air attacks directed against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as well as other opposition factions in Syria. At a meeting of NATO defense ministers held in Brussels on October 8, 2015, Carter expressed his belief that Russia would soon start paying the price for its military participation in Syria in the form of retaliation attacks and casualties. He made this statement while addressing the NATO ministers.

In December 2015, it was discovered that Carter had used a personal email account when conducting official business as Secretary of Defense. This information sparked a scandal that lasted until December 2015.
In January 2016, at Carter’s direction, the Department of Defense overrode a request from the Marine Corps to continue to exempt women from certain positions and opened all military roles to women. This was done despite the fact that the Marine Corps wanted to continue excluding women from certain roles.

In June of 2016, Carter made the announcement that transgender people would be granted permission to openly enlist in the military and serve in any capacity they choose.


Personal life and death 

Carter was married to Stephanie (DeLeeuw) Carter.  He was formerly married to Clayton Spencer, who is the current and eighth president of Bates College. Together, they had two children named Ava and Will during their time together as a married couple.

On October 24, 2022, when he was 68 years old, Carter passed away in Boston as a result of a heart attack.


In 1987, Carter was honored by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce with one of its Ten Outstanding Young Americans awards. [67]  Carter has received five awards of the Department of Defense Decoration for Distinguished Public Service, which is the DOD’s highest civilian medal, in recognition of his contributions to the protection of the nation’s security.   2013 saw him receive the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in recognition of the vital liaison work he had undertaken with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the regional combatant commanders.  In recognition of his efforts to the intelligence community, he was also awarded the Defense Intelligence Medal.


In addition to authoring numerous articles, scientific publications, government studies, and Congressional testimonies, Carter co-edited and co-authored 11 books:

  • MX Missile Basing (1981)
  • Ballistic Missile Defense (1984)
  • Directed Energy Missile Defense in Space (1984)
  • Managing Nuclear Operations (1987)
  • Soviet Nuclear Fission: Control of the Nuclear Arsenal in a Disintegrating Soviet Union (1991)
  • Beyond Spinoff: Military and Commercial Technologies in a Changing World (1992)
  • A New Concept of Cooperative Security (1992)
  • Cooperative Denuclearization: From Pledges to Deeds (1993)
  • Preventive Defense: A New Security Strategy for America (1997)
  • Keeping the Edge: Managing Defense for the Future (2001)
  • Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon (2019)