Charles Newman graduated from Yale College in 1959 Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  In 1959-1960 he did graduate work in philosophy at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn, Germany, under an Adenauer Fellowship.  He graduated from Yale Law School in 1963, clerked for Federal Judge Bailey Brown in 1963-4, and joined Burch, Porter, and Johnson in 1965.  He has practiced in virtually every area, representing businesses, educational institutions, news organizations, and environmental and conservation organizations.

He is and has for many years been listed in Best Lawyers in America in seven areas: Appellate Practice, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law, First Amendment Law, Litigation – Environmental, and Litigation – First Amendment.

He is a former President of the Memphis Bar Association and the Yale Club of Memphis, Chair of the Rhodes College President’s Council, and recipient of the Rhodes College Distinguished Service Medal.  He is a former Member of the Boards of the Memphis Bar Association, National Civil Rights Museum Foundation, Memphis College of Art, LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis Public Library Foundation, Memphis Metropolitan Interfaith Association, Memphis Rotary Club, Memphis Landmarks Commission, Tennessee Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Conservation League, and Wolf River Conservancy, and of the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association and the Class Council, Class of 1959 of Yale College.   He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and Tennessee Bar Foundation, former Associate Examiner on Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, and former Master of the Bench in the American Inns of Court.

He is a frequent speaker on numerous subjects, including serving as one of the attorneys representing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1968 Sanitation Workers strike and representing the plaintiffs in the successful effort to block the construction of Interstate 40 through Overton Park in the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.

He was heavily involved in the efforts to protect Shelby Farms, including the creation of the Shelby Farms Conservancy, the creation of the Overton Park Conservancy, the Greenline Trail, the Big River Crossing trail across the Mississippi River, the Arkansas Levee Trail, and other recreational trails, and the lighting of the two bridges across the River.

Among the awards he has received are the 2018 William M. Leech Jr. Public Service Award from the Fellows of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the 2019 Frederick Law Olmsted Award from the Tennessee Chapter of the National Society of Landscape Architects.

In 2016 he was selected as Memphian of the Year by the Memphis Magazine.

His wife, Kay, is an interior designer who has been active in many civic activities and is a former President of Memphis Heritage.