Carolyn McCarthy (born January 5, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for New York's 4th congressional district, serving since 1997. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is located in central Long Island in west-central Nassau County and includes Mineola, the Five Towns, East Rockaway, Rockville Centre, Oceanside, Garden City, Hempstead, Uniondale, East Meadow, Roosevelt, Franklin Square, Valley Stream, and Elmont.
McCarthy was born Carolyn Cook in Brooklyn, raised in Mineola. Her father was a boilermaker and her mother worked at Woolworth's. In her youth, she was an athlete and wanted to become a physical education teacher but found reading challenging and later was diagnosed with dyslexia. After caring for her boyfriend injured from a car accident, McCarthy decided to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She lived with her family in Mineola, a suburban area about twenty miles outside New York City on Long Island. On December 7, 1993, her husband, Dennis, was killed and her son, Kevin, severely injured, on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train at the Merillon Avenue station, when a mass murderer, Colin Ferguson, opened fire on random unarmed passengers. Ferguson killed six and wounded 19 others. McCarthy responded to the crime by launching a campaign for additional gun control that eventually propelled her to Congress in 1996 on the Democratic ticket.
In the biographical 1998 television movie The Long Island Incident, which portrayed these events, she was played by actress Laurie Metcalf.