Colonel Charles Donovan MD (1863–1951) was born in Calcutta. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Cork City to live with his grandfather to advance his secondary and university education. He studied at Queen's College, Cork (M.B.) and Trinity College, Dublin (M.D.).
He did post graduate training in Dublin hospitals. He joined the Indian Medical Service and was stationed at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay. He later became a professor of Biology at Madras University. He discovered the cause of kala-azar, an infectious disease, a parasite which lives in the cells of the human body in 1903. The parasite was named Leishmania donovani in memory of him and another researcher working in the same medical area William Leishman. In 1905 he identified the micro-organism responsible for the disease granuloma inguinale. This also bears his name Donovania granulomatosis.
He took an interest in the study of butterflies and birds. After retirement he wrote a Catalogue of the Macrolepidoptera of Ireland (1936). Much of the field work for this was carried out in the area of Timoleague, Co. Cork when he was visiting his sisters there. He retired in 1920 to Gloucestershire