Charles Benjamin Howard was born on October 8, 1864, in Montgomery, Alabama. He was the son of a prominent physician, Dr. James Howard, and his wife, Sallie. Young Charles was educated at home, primarily by his mother. When he was old enough, he attended the University of Alabama, where he studied engineering.
In 1892, Charles Howard left Alabama to pursue a career in the military. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army and assigned to the Fourth Cavalry. Howard served with distinction in the Spanish-American War and was promoted to the rank of captain.
In 1902, Charles Howard resigned from the military and moved to Los Angeles, California. There, he entered the real estate business. Howard soon became one of the most successful developers in southern California.
In 1910, Howard decided to enter politics. He ran for and was elected to the California state legislature. He served in the legislature for four years, during which time he was an advocate for prison reform and better education for the state’s children.
In 1914, Howard decided to run for the United States Senate. He was opposed by incumbent Senator William Gibbs McAdoo. However, Howard was victorious and became the first senator from southern California.
As a senator, Howard was a strong advocate for the military. He supported the construction of new military bases and the expansion of the armed forces. He also worked to improve the living conditions of military personnel and their families.
In 1928, Howard decided to retire from the Senate. He returned to Los Angeles, where he continued to work in the real estate business. He also served on the boards of several banks and other businesses.
Charles Benjamin Howard died on October 9, 1942, at the age of 78. He was a dedicated public servant and a great American hero.