Charles Fox was born and raised in New York City, graduated from the High School of Music and Art, and continued his formal musical education and composition studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He studied jazz piano with Lenny Tristano and electronic music with Vladimir Ussachevsky at Columbia University. He began his career playing the piano, composing and arranging for such salsa legends as Ray Barretto, Joe Quijano and Tito Puente, as well as writing theme music and arrangements for Skitch Henderson and the Tonight Show Orchestra.
Charles has composed music for hundreds of songs for records, motion pictures and television. Among the many legendary and diverse recording artists who have recorded his songs are Roberta Flack, Sarah Vaughan, Barry Manilow, Jim Croce, Fred Astaire, Luther Vandross, Johnny Cash, Lena Horne, George Shearing, The Boston Pops, Jack Jones, Tito Puente, Goldie Hawn, Carly Simon, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Bassey, Crystal Gayle, Lori Lieberman, Sergio Mendes, Maureen McGovern, Olivia Newton John, Lauryn Hill, and Ice T.
Among his works for theater, in collaboration with lyricist Norman Gimbel, are “The Eleventh” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In collaboration with Hal David, he has composed the musicals “The Chosen” and “The Turning Point”. Other song collaborators include Paul Williams, Bob Crewe, David Zippel, Sammy Cahn, Carly Simon, Carole Bayer Sager and Marilyn and Alan Bergman.
He has composed the musical scores for over 100 motion pictures and television films including “Barbarella”, “Nine to Five”, “Goodbye Columbus”, and “Foul Play” for which he received one of his two Academy Award nominations. The other was for the film “The Other Side of the Mountain”. Among his popular songs are “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” “I Got a Name,” and “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Song of the year. His TV shows and theme songs include “The Love Boat”, “Happy Days”, “Laverne and Shirley”, “Wonder Woman”, “The Paper Chase”, “Wide World of Sports”, “Monday Night Football” and “Love American Style, for which he received two Emmy Awards.
In addition to his popular works, Charles has composed music for the concert hall and ballet. In 2009, Charles conducted the Poland National Opera Company Chorus and Orchestra in a performance of his Oratorio, “Lament and Prayer” based on the words of Pope John Paul II. In 2010, he conducted the world premiere of his “Fantasie, Homage a Chopin” which he was commissioned to compose by the Polish Government to honor the 200th birthday of Chopin. He has conducted symphony orchestras performing his music worldwide in Budapest, Prague, Poland, Caracas, London, Israel and Tokyo as well as in the US.
Charles was inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded Lifetime Achievement awards from the Society of Composers and Lyricists and BMI and is a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.