Doyle Carlton the son of Albert and Martha Carlton was born in Wauchula, Florida. He had one younger brother, Leland Francis Carlton. He received his primary education in Wauchula and, as there was then no local high school, he then attended Stetson Academy. He subsequently graduated from the Liberal Arts College of Stetson University with an A.B. in 1909. Doyle then attended Chicago University where he received an A.B. in 1910. He earned his L.L.B. in 1912 from Columbia University, New York.In 1912 he was admitted to the practice of law in Florida and practiced law in Tampa beginning in that year. On July 30, 1912, in Tampa, Doyle married Nell Ray, daughter of Edward Dennis and Mary Ellen Ray.
Early Political Career
His political career began in 1916 when he was elected to the Florida state senate for a two-year term as the State Senator from the 11th District, composed of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
In the Democratic primary on June 5, 1928 he received 77,569 first choice and 28,471 second choice votes to win in a field of five candidates, who included former Governor Sidney J. Catts. In November 1928, Doyle defeated his Republican opponent, W. J. Howey, by a margin of 148,455 votes to 95,018 votes. He assumed the office of governor on January 8, 1929. During his term, he faced several financial problems caused by the Great Depression. He had to reduce payrolls and cut many state jobs in an attempt to reduce the state's budget.He also faced other problems, helping the state through them all. The collapse of the state's land boom, a violent hurricane hit the state, a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation, and the Great Depression began during his term. He left office on January 3, 1933, returning to Tampa, Florida. In 1936 Governor Carlton ran for the Democratic nomination for U. S. Senator. Although he was endorsed by the Democratic executive committee and most state newspapers, Charles O. Andrews lined up a powerful bloc of forces opposed to Carlton, and by a margin of 67,387 votes to 62,530 votes defeated Governor Carlton in the primary of August 11, 1936.
He died in Tampa in 1972 and was buried in Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, Tampa.