Born in Baltimore, John Lee Carroll was the great-great-grandson of Charles Carroll (1737-1832), the sole Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence. His great-grandfather Thomas Sim Lee (1745-1819) was Governor of Maryland (1779-1783, 1792-1794). John Lee Carroll studied at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Georgetown University. He later studied law at Harvard University. After many years practicing law, Carroll was elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1867. In 1875,he ran for Governor on the Democratic ticket, winning by a margin of 10,000. He served until 1880, when he went back to practicing law. Carroll died in Washington, D.C., February 27, 1911, and is buried in the New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore.