After graduating from Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia, Daniel attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a football scholarship. With one year of college under his belt, Daniel was drafted in 1951 and served as a private in the Marine Corps.
When he returned home from the service, Daniel enrolled in business classes at UNC. Encouraged by a neighbor to show his doodles to the school's paper, Charlie became the editorial cartoonist for The Daily Tar Heel in 1955. He switched his major to political science and had the opportunity to do some freelance work for the Chapel Hill News Leader and the Durham Sun.
Daniel graduated in 1958, and in the same year was hired as the Knoxville Journal's editorial cartoonist. He worked there until the paper ended daily publication in 1992, when he moved to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Daniel, now 78, still works full-time at the Sentinel and continues to produce cartoons that will make you laugh and make you think.
The year 2008 marked his golden anniversary, and the Sentinel is honoring his 50 years of service with a special exhibition. His cartoons have been exhibited in different museums and universities across Tennessee, and his work has been collected by presidents and politicians. Four collections of his cartoons have been published.
He has served on the boards of the Baptist Health System and the Volunteer Ministry Center and as president of the Alumni Board of Fork Union Military Academy. He is a 1997 graduate of Leadership Knoxville, a ten-month program which gives participants experiential learning opportunities and team-building skills.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Patsy Ann Stephenson. They have two children and four grandchildren.
See Charlie Daniel's work online at the Knoxville News Sentinel.