Carroll John Daly was born in Yonkers, New York, on September 14, 1889. The son of Joseph F. Daly and Mary Brennan Daly, he was educated at Yonkers High School and, subsequently, at De La Salle Institute and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Daly was married in 1913. Abandoning pursuit of a career on the stage, he became a projectionist and then the owner and operator of theaters in Yonkers and Averne, New York, and Atlantic City and Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Daly’s writing career was launched in October, 1922, with the publication in Black Mask of a tale entitled “Dolly.” He followed that success with another story for Black Mask, “Roarin’ Jack,” published in December under the pseudonym John D. Carroll. Now a published author, Daly moved his wife and their only child, John Russell Daly, to White Plains, New York, where the family lived until he retired in 1953. A man of many idiosyncrasies, Daly is alleged to have never left home during winter and to have insisted on a highly organized household. His success as a writer and his income from theaters he owned or operated allowed him to live comfortably, though not luxuriously.
In 1953, Daly and his wife moved to Montrose, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Their son, John, had found employment as a screen actor and occasional performer on television on the West Coast. Made an honorary member of a writers’ club in Santa Monica, Daly lived in a modest apartment and continued writing for a few more years, publishing his last story in mid-1955. His health failing, he and his wife moved to Coachella, a desert area. Daly spent the last three years of his life in and out of hospitals; he died on January 16, 1958, in the Los Angeles County General Hospital.