Born at Needham Heights, Massachusetts, Carter attended public schools. He was graduated from , Boston, Massachusetts. He worked in several capacities at the knit-underwear manufacturing plant of the William Carter Co.. He served as member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1906. He served as member of the Republican State committee in 1907 and 1908.
Carter was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1919). He was not a candidate for reelection in 1918. He was interested in real-estate development. He was elected president of the William Carter Company in 1918 and continued manufacturing activities until his death. He died in Needham, Massachusetts, April 23, 1955. He was interred in Needham Cemetery.
- United States Congress. "William Henry Carter (id: C000205)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
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