Charles Francis Xavier was born in New York City 1940, the son of a brilliant nuclear scientist and old New England money. The circumstances surrounding his troubled childhood are generally unknown to his students. At some point, he inherited his father and mother’s fortune.
He graduated with honors from Harvard in 1956 at the age of 16. A year later he completed his masters of psychology. His PhD in psychology was completed in 1958. His doctorate in biology by 1959. He would assist with the work on the Meselson–Stahl experiments in genetics and that would carry him to his third doctorate in 1960.
He then answered his country’s call and assisted the US Army during the early years of the Vietnam War. As an officer with Army Intelligence he was part of the (ultimately unsuccessful) efforts to curb the rise of communism in Vietnam during the Diem Era. He learned a lot about “hearts and minds,” politics, and the dynamics of human interaction in those years. The lessons learned in South Vietnam would not be forgotten by the mutant civil rights activist he would later become. Following the assassination of Diem and the escalation of conflict in the region under LBJ; Lieutenant Xavier did not re-enlist for a second tour.
Student of the World and Teacher
Following his time in the army, Charles would travel the world for roughly 20 years to gain experiences. He met brilliant minds from many different walks of life. He rarely, if ever, talks about these years to his students.
He ended his wandering days with a two year residence at Oxford University to reacquaint himself with the latest developments in human genetics. Following Oxford, he would return to the United States as an adjunct professor of biology at Columbia University. He was in his third year at Columbia when the Homo Sapiens Superior file was leaked to the public in 1989.
As a local New York expert in the field of human genetics, he was called upon often to provide insight and information to politicians, media personalities, and educators about the “Mutant Threat.” Within months he firmly established himself as one of the foremost members of the “Mutant Coexistence” camp; called by some extremists the “Mutie Lovers” and others the “Mutant Civil Rights” movement.
In 1990, a reporter for CNN asked the “Are you a mutant?” question that would change everything. Until that point, Xavier had passively been steering reporters and interviewers away from that question. In a grand quirk of irony, the reporter was himself a mutant with a very minor yet powerful mutation to resist telepathy.
Many of the outlets that had relied upon his input up to that point dried up. A handful of progressive Universities and organizations still kept in touch, but almost all were already part of the Coexistence camp to begin with. In 1991, he gave a lecture on the University of Iowa campus. An anti-mutant extremist shot him in the back as he exited the hall. The doctors were able to save his life, the price was his ability to walk.
The Mutant Underground
He would spend the next few years recuperating at his Westchester home; learning to deal with his disability. He also spent those years, and a considerable fortune, turning his family estate into both a school and fortress.
Humanity had rejected his message; so he set out to teach his own kind how to deal with their powers and to interact with humans. A handful of powerful mutants joined him to assist him in this endeavor. They are both allies as well as faculty.