Charles L. Little was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended schools in Endwell, New York and Tehran, Iran (The American School) while growing up. Little pursued his undergraduate studies at Rutgers College from 1963-1967 before being drafted in 1968. In the Army, Little served in the 4th Infantry Division, 704th Maintenance Battalion, Headquarters and Company A, doing a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was exposed to Agent Orange. After his military service, Little used the GI Bill to pursue graduate studies at SUNY Cortland, Binghamton, and Indiana University. Little's career in education spanned over 30 years, where he was a schoolteacher and administrator.