Robert Elliot McCarthy was born on February 16, 1920, in San Francisco, CA. He was a graduate of the University of California
at Berkeley, as well as Boalt Hall Law School. As an undergraduate, McCarthy was a part of the Navy ROTC, and he later served
as a commissioned officer aboard the destroyer USS
Boyd in the Pacific Theater of World War II. McCarthy married his wife, Pat, when his ship returned from combat in the Pacific
at the end of the war.