Charles E. Scovil was born in Queens, New York in 1928 and grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1952 with a degree in geology. He became interested in astronomy at the age of ten while vacationing in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. He has taught many adult-level and grade school-level classes in many towns in the state of Connecticut. For four years, he tought at an elementary school in Greenwich, which had a planetarium. In addition to astronomy, his hobbies include archeology and photography.

Charles worked as the curator at the Stamford Observatory for fifty-one years. He researched in the field of Variable Stars, drafting star charts for their study, photographing star fields and observing stars. Charles charted The AAVSO Variable Star Atlas and co-authored the True Visual Magnitude Photographic Star Atlas, Vol. 3 with Christos Papadopoulos.

Charles has three children and four grandchildren: His son Gary owns a video production company in Fairhope, Alabama; Gary's brother Jeff is a well known photographer in Phoenix, Arizona; Charles' daughter Lisa is a highly regarded bookkeeper in Derby, Connecticut. Gary has three children: Brooke is an illustrator and graphic designer; Max follows in his father's footsteps as a videographer and camera operator; and the youngest, Brittany, is a costume maker and sculptor.

Charles E. Scovil is now retired in his mid-eighties, and living in Fairhope, Alabama with his son Gary.

Charles has received many notable awards for his contrbitions to astronomical science and knowledge.

2012 - Astronomer Andreas Philipp suggested to the International Astronomical Union Commission on Solar System Naming that a minor planet be named for Charles E. Scovil, in view of his work in studying and charting variable stars. The Commission agreed and named minor planet #4939 Scovil. The minor planet was discovered by Henri Debehogne in La Silla, Chile in 1986.

2000 - Leslie C. Peltier Award
1999 - AAVSO Director's Award
1991 - A starship called the USS Scovil can be seen listed on a piece of graphic art in Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country and is named after Charles E. Scovil.
1981 - AAVSO Merit Award
1974 - Astronomical League Commendation (NE Region)
1966 - Stellafane Blue Ribbon Award - For special Folded Refractor
A small, private observatory in Michigan is also named after Charles E. Scovil.