Former Husky Charles O. Carroll Dies at 96
June 25, 2003
SEATTLE (AP) -- Charles O. 'Chuck' Carroll, one of the University of Washington's biggest football stars and a King County prosecutor whose 22-year tenure ended in the taint of a corruption scandal, is dead at 96.
Carroll, who still holds a school scoring record and is one of three players whose numbers have been retired by the Huskies, died Monday morning at Swedish Hospital, a day after he was admitted in failing health, his son Chuck Carroll Jr. told The Seattle Times.
Absolved of wrongdoing in the 'tolerance policy' scandal that ended his political career, Carroll was cited by Christian, Jewish, Italian and black organizations for community service.
'He was really a giant of his era, both in the sports and legal arenas,' said King County prosecutor Norman K. Maleng. 'He was a grand old man, and I miss him.'
For his exploits as a running back and linebacker, an All-American selection in 1927-28 who reputedly missed only six minutes of playing time in a three-year college career, Carroll was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1964.
'These old eyes have never seen a greater player,' the late Stanford coach Glenn Scobey 'Pop' Warner once said.
Born into a Seattle family that founded and still owns a downtown jewelry store, Carroll was a high school newspaper editor before enrolling at Washington.
In an era when most players played both offense and defense, he was named an All-American running back in 1927-28.
He scored 17 touchdowns in 1928, a school record that was broken only in 1996 by Corey Dillon, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, and still holds the Washington record for points in a game with 36 against Puget Sound, also in 1928.
After a game the Huskies lost at Stanford that year, Stanford players lifted him onto their shoulders and carried him off the field.
The only other Washington players whose numbers have been retired are Roland Kirkby, a member of Huskies' Fearsome Foursome backfield in 1950, and George Wilson, an All-America selection in 1925.
Carroll completed law school at Washington, got active in the Republican party, rose to the rank of colonel while stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco during World War II and was appointed prosecutor in the state's largest county in 1948.
He won re-election until 1970, when he was indicted in a case centering on payments from tavern owners to police who then 'tolerated' gambling, prostitution and other illegal activity.
Carroll was accused of failing to prosecute police corruption vigorously. A judge dismissed the indictment, but Carroll lost to Christopher T. Bayley in the GOP primary that year.
'There was a culture of tolerance in the city,' said Wesley C. Uhlman, a Democrat who served as mayor in 1969-77. 'It had been that way for many years. There was tacit agreement that officials would go after serious crime and leave the petty stuff alone.'
Carroll returned to private practice and retired in 1985.
Up to the time of his death, he hosted occasional bipartisan lunches at his home with Maleng, Uhlman, former Govs. Albert D. Rosellini and John Spellman and U.S. District Judge Carolyn R. Dimmick. Another had been set for Monday.
Besides his son, Carroll is survived by a daughter, Kathleen, of Portland, Ore., and four grandchildren. A private family service was being planned.
TODAY | 5:00pm PTLive