Chuck grew up in Texas. His dad was a Texas farm boy who became a WWII bomber mechanic. His mom was the daughter of a farmer who gave up her teaching job to become a wartime aircraft draftsman. It was probably inevitable that Chuck would love airplanes.
Chuck has been an avid reader since the second grade when he spent afternoons in the school library. The Bookmobile program kept him reading all summer. By the time he was ten, he had read many of the classic adolescent novels and was moving up to adult literature. Years later, when people asked Chuck how he learned to write. he always said, “By osmosis.” You can’t read the works of great writers without something rubbing off.
An English professor at the University of Texas gave Chuck a little book titled “Stars” for his ninth birthday. It opened his eyes to the amazing universe we inhabit and was the catalyst for his later interest in Einstein, relativity, and high-energy physics. Chuck still has the book and considers it one of his life’s little treasures.
As a boy, Chuck loved the stories his dad told about legendary aircraft like the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-26 Marauder, the P-38 Lightning, and the Martin M-130 flying boat better known as Pan Am’s China Clipper. By the time he was ten, Chuck's dad had taught him how radial aircraft engines worked and the principle of aerodynamic lift that made flight possible. He had studied the detailed drawings of aircraft wings in his mom’s drafting books. He was definitely hooked on airplanes.
Chuck became interested in electronics at a very early age and earned a reputation as a kid who could fix radios and TVs. He worked in construction during those sizzling Texas summers to finance his hot rod habit. Chuck entered the University of Texas thinking he would become an electronics engineer. That degree path exposed him to advanced mathematics, but emphasize the word “exposed.” He had always been a practical, hands-on kind of guy. He needed to be able to visualize things. Chuck was never able to form a mental image of the meaning of the square root of minus one, something that pops up all over the place in physics and advanced mathematics. He escaped the torture by joining the Navy.
The Navy detailer took one look at his electronics test scores and sent him directly to the fleet as a radar technician. It was a perfect job for him. Chuck got to work with advanced electronic equipment and see the world. What a deal. He went back to college after the Navy and changed his major to architectural engineering, something tangible where the square root of minus one never again reared its ugly head. After graduation, Chuck took a job with an engineering consulting firm in a small town in Washington State. A year later, he was recruited by Pan Am World Services, a subsidiary of Pan American World Airways, and worked for the company for seven years.
When Lockheed Martin, the largest defense company in the world, offered Chuck a vice president’s job in the Aeronautical Sector, it was like going home. The just-completed merger of Martin Marietta and Lockheed meant that he was going to work for the direct descendent of the companies that had trained his dad and employed his mom in World War II. Don’t let anyone kid you. Executive jobs in big companies are no cake walk. Performance expectations are high and the hours are long, but at Lockheed Martin there was a wonderful perk. Chuck actually got paid to attend international air shows to help promote the company’s products and services. He might have done that part of his job for free.
After Lockheed Martin, Chuck worked as a senior executive at TRW and DynCorp. Chuck retired as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of one of the international subsidiaries of G4S, the largest security services company in the world. When people ask him about his career in the defense industry, he can honestly say that it was always interesting. It was a dream come true for a poor boy from Texas to wake up one day and find out that he could actually get paid for working around airplanes and traveling all over the world.
During his military service and defense industry career, Chuck set foot on five continents. He met members of royal families, diplomats, government officials, and military officers in more than thirty countries. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology appointed Chuck to the Industry Council Board where he wrote a number of recommendations to senior Defense Department officials on a variety of equipment and support issues. Chuck also served two terms as Chairman of one of the nation’s largest defense industry trade associations.
When Chuck retired, he finally had time to focus on a novel he had wanted to write for years. A lot of what he had learned over the years about science, geopolitics, and the military found its way into “The Defection of Nahbi.”
"In the mystery thriller genre, many authors have gotten my attention and I have enjoyed their stories. Less often will a writer really grab me and keep me majorly interested and entertained. Then, every once in a while, an author will capture me on page one and will not allow me to put their work down until the very end, even a few leaving me wanting more. Chuck Ervin is such a writer.
Mr. Ervin creates strong, thoroughly developed characters and weaves their stories and backstories together like a fine cloth, full of color and texture....."