• unknown (b.)


He spent 39 years at IBM, where he developed and managed several successful products, including the IBM 1401 Data Processing System, the IBM System/360 and several mid-range systems. He was born in Carroll County, Virginia, but in the middle of the Depression, about 1933, his father moved the family to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He began attending North Carolina State University in the fall of 1943, studying mechanical engineering, but in March of 1946, he was drafted into the Army. After basic training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, he was deployed to Korea. He was assigned to the Machine Records Unit (MRU), IBM Installation where he had his first exposure to IBM Equipment. He was there for 12 months and once a month an IBM customer engineer from Tokyo came to ensure all the machines were in perfect order. He took the opportunity to talk with the engineer and learned a lot about IBM which piqued his interest in the company. Later this engineer was instrumental in his being employed at IBM. In the fall of 1947, he was discharged from the Army and returned to school at NC State. He received his Bachelor’s degree in 1949 and his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1950. He joined the IBM Endicott, NY, lab in August 1950, to design punched card handling and unit record products. In 1957, he became Area Manager for accounting machines where he would direct the development of the groundbreaking IBM 1401 system. After various executive staff positions, in 1964 he became Director of Computer Assisted Instruction and in 1966, President of the Systems Development Division with eight US labs and six European labs, managing delivery and expansion of the System/360 product line. In 1971 he joined the Corporate Technical Committee investigating future technologies; in 1973 became Director of Engineering, Programming, and Technology; and in 1974 became Vice President of Development and Manufacturing of the General Systems Division in Atlanta, responsible for Systems 32, 34, 38, Series 1, and the IBM PC. In 1983 he became VP of Telecommunication Systems in the Communications Product Division in Raleigh. After his retirement in 1986, he consulted full-time to IBM for 3 additional years and then spent more than a dozen years volunteering at North Carolina State University with two adjunct appointments in its College of Engineering. Charles received a MSME from North Carolina State University in 1950.