Charles Ormond Eames, Jr (June 17, 1907 – August 21, 1978) was born in 1907 in Saint Louis, Missouri. Charles was born the nephew of St. Louis architect William S. Eames. By the time he was 14 years old, while attending high school, Charles worked at the Laclede Steel Company as a part-time laborer, where he learned about engineering, drawing, and architecture (and also first entertained the idea of one day becoming an architect).
Charles briefly studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis on an architectural scholarship. After two years of study, he left the university. Many sources claim, with little evidence, that he was dismissed for his advocacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and his interest in modern architects. Several websites claim that "In the report describing why he was dismissed from the university, a professor wrote the comment 'His views were too modern.'" This alleged comment has yet to be attributed to any specific member of the architectural faculty. Other sources, less frequently cited, note that while a student, Charles Eames also was employed as an architect at the firm of Trueblood and Graf.