Carl D. Peterson grew up in Long Beach, California, and is an alumnus of the UCLA. He is best known as the former president, general manager, and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He served in those roles from 1989-2008. Peterson hired four coaches for the Chiefs during his tenure: Marty Schottenheimer, Gunther Cunningham, Dick Vermeil, and Herman Edwards.
Peterson took over the general manager duties in 1989 from Jim Schaaf. During his 20 years at the helm in Kansas City, the Chiefs amassed a 176–141–1 record, won the AFC West four times and reached the AFC Championship Game in 1993.
On December 15, 2008, Owner Clark Hunt announced Peterson's resignation effective the end of the 2008 NFL season.