Carleton Wright was born in New Hampton, Iowa, on 2nd June, 1892. He attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 1912 (16/156). Wright became an ordnance specialist and on the outbreak of the Second World War he was captain of the Augusta.
Promoted to rear admiral in May, 1942, Wright was given command of the cruiser unit under Admiral William Halsey in the South Pacific. In November 1942, he replaced Vice-Admiral Thomas Kinkaid and became head of Task Group 67.
Wright took part in the action off Savo Island. Although one enemy destroyer was sunk the Japanese Navy crippled three US Navy ship. Admiral Chester Nimitz was disappointed by Wright's performance and although awarded the Navy Cross, was sent to Washington for a period of staff duty.
In March 1946 Wright became Inspector General of the Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Area. He also served as deputy commander of the Marianas (1947-48) before retiring from the US Navy in October, 1948. Carleton Wright died in Claremont, California, on 27th June, 1970.