Born and raised in Nashville, Monroe Carell, Jr. served in the United States Navy before attending Vanderbilt University. In 1959, he graduated cum laude with an electrical engineering degree and began his business career, which culminated in his role as Chairman and CEO of Nashville-based Central Parking Corporation. Carell grew the company into the largest parking management firm in the world. In 1995, it became a publicly traded company on the NYSE and in 2008, he sold his remaining interest to a private equity fund for $350 million.
Carell’s distinguished legacy throughout Nashville and beyond is not only his place on the Fortune 400 list, but his remarkable commitment to bettering his community. A prominent philanthropist, most notably in health care, Carell led the fundraising efforts for the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and for Vanderbilt’s Shape the Future campaign. Through his leadership and financial contributions, Carell raised nearly $70 million for the construction of the Children’s Hospital. He went on to raise $1.75 billion for the university campaign, surpassing the campaign’s original goal of $1.25 billion.
Dedicated to creating a world class hospital focusing on the very best care for children was a personal mission for Carell. He visited many of the top children’s hospitals in the country and worked with the leadership of Vanderbilt University Medical Center to design and create a place that would draw top doctors and specialists. He also met with the architects and family advisory groups to help create an atmosphere of family-centered care.
Among Carell’s many accolades include The Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award, the Tennessee Hospital Association Meritorious Service Award and in 1999 he was awarded the Starlight Children’s Foundation of New York “Many Faces of Starlight” award. He was honored by Easter Seals in 2008 as “Nashvillian of the Year.” Colleagues say Carell fostered a culture of genuine caring at the hospital, inspiring others to give of their time and energy.
A dedicated philanthropist, successful entrepreneur and altruistic community member, Monroe Carell, Jr. is a 2018 inductee of the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.