Dr. Carter was born in and grew up in New Zealand. After graduating at the University of Otago (1950-1952) and Auckland Teachers College (1953), he held research and teaching positions at the School of Physical Education (UO) in 1954-55. From 1956-59 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, U.S.A., where he obtained the Masters and Doctorate degrees. On returning to New Zealand, Dr. Carter taught for three years at the University of Otago.
From 1962 to 1992 he was a professor in the Department of Physical Education at San Diego State University, San Diego, California, U.S.A., where he taught Applied Anatomy and Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Adaptive Physical Education, Growth and Development, and Kinanthropometry. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award (1983), and the Exceptional Merit Service Award (1984). Currently he is Professor Emeritus in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University and continues his research in kinanthropometry, along with consulting, workshops and invited presentations.
Dr. Carter's research work has focused on the structure and function of athletes and non-athletes. In addition, he is the co-developer of a method of assessment of somatotype, the Heath-Carter Somatotype Method, a method which is presently the most widely used in body build research. He was a key investigator in kinanthropometric studies of Olympic and World Championship athletes in Mexico City, 1968, Montreal, 1976, Perth, 1991, Uruguay, 1995, and Zimbabwe, 1995. He has served as a consultant or co-investigator for studies in 18 countries. In addition, he has given invited presentations and/or workshops in many countries.
Lindsay is author or editor of 13 books, 29 chapters, 95 articles as well as numerous abstracts. The 137 publications are largely based on original investigations dealing with related aspects of physique and performance, kinanthropometry and exercise science.
Dr. Carter is an Honorary Life Member, and Past-President of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK), a former Criterion Anthropometrist for ISAK, and has served as a course leader and external examiner for many international courses. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and Emeritus member of the American College of Sports Medicine.
In addition to other honors, Dr. Carter received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Semmelweis University. Budapest, Hungary, in May 1998, for his contributions to the study of physique, human performance and kinanthropometry. In November 2005, he received his second Honorary Doctorate from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium, for his work in kinanthropometry and human biometry. He was elected to the Inaugural Wall of Fame at the School of Physical Education, University of Otago, NZL, May 2006.
In 2003, the Auckland University of Technology (NZL), School of Sport and Recreation, opened the J.E. Lindsay Carter Kinanthropometry Laboratory in the School at the AUT-Akoranga campus. In March 2012, the J.E. Lindsay Carter Kinanthropometry Clinic and Archive was opened at the AUT-Millennium campus Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ) Laboratories, of AUT University. This new facility provides teaching, research and community services to children, adolescents, and athletes in different levels of sports. In addition, it houses an archive for kinanthropometric data and materials donated by Lindsay and contributors from around the world.