Before being elected to seven terms in the U. S. House of Representatives representing what is now the 20th Congressional District, Carleton J. King served as the Saratoga County District Attorney. As District Attorney he had a close relationship with law enforcement, judges and the defense bar. He was tough yet compassionate and realized that Saratoga was unlike a lot of other counties due to the nature of the motto “health, history and horses”, and it was the horses the he loved, often watching the races, but never betting.
He believed in public service and using private, independent means for the greater good. He was instrumental in the creation of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center when he and Nelson Rockefeller had an idea to bring the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Philharmonic to upstate New York. His vision was a world class acoustically perfect summer venue beneath the pine forest and beside the springs within the New York State Park at Saratoga. He was a patron of the arts, supporter of a public national parks system, and an advocate of historic preservation.
He served with distinction as the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and traveled extensively in an effort to experience and understand other cultures, other forms of government and to make what he believed “important personal relationships, that might some day prevent conflict.” After his retirement from Congress, and upon his return to upstate New York where he had represented the capital Saratoga region, King accepted an appointment by his longtime friend President Gerald B. Ford to the important post of Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served as Chair for several years attending numerous graduations and of course Army football games. He and his wife Constance retired to their home in Florida, until his death.