Charles Ezra Daniel was born in Elberton, Elbert County, Ga., November 11, 1895, to James Fleming and Leila Mildred Adams Daniel. The family moved to Anderson, S.C., in 1898. Daniel attended The Citadel, Charleston, S.C. 1916-1918 before joining the Army and serving as a lieutenant in the Infantry 1917-1919 in the Sixth Division in Europe during World War I. Daniel married Homozel "Mickey" Mickel (1903-1992) on November 25, 1924.
Returning to Anderson after the war, he worked for Townsend Lumber Company until he founded Daniel Construction Company in 1935. By 1938 the company had an annual volume of more than a million dollars. He opened a branch in Birmingham, Ala., and in 1942 moved his company headquarters to Greenville. Daniel served as a director of many national corporations, among them the Chemical Bank of New York Trust Company, Eastern Airlines, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Graniteville Company, Prudential Insurance Company, Southern Bell Telephone Company, and J. P. Stevens & Company.
He was a life trustee of Clemson College and member of the board of South Carolina Foundation of Independent Colleges. Daniel was appointed on September 6, 1954, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Burnet R. Maybank, and served from September 6, 1954, until his resignation December 23, 1954. He received honorary doctoral degrees from Furman University, Clemson College, The Citadel, and Lander College.
Daniel died in Greenville, S.C., September 13, 1964. Mrs. Daniel died on June 22, 1992.
Buildings on the Furman University campus named in honor of Daniel are the Charles E. Daniel Dining Hall and Charles Erza Daniel Memorial Chapel. The Homozel Mickel Daniel Music Building was named in honor of Mrs. Daniel.
White Oaks is the former home of the Daniels. Designed by architect Philip Trammell Shutze of Atlanta and constructed in 1957, the 9,750 square-foot mansion serves as home to Furmanís president. It was bequeathed to Furman in 1992 by Homozel Mickel Daniel. It was built by Daniel Construction Company and was based on the restored Governorís Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. The entry hall and dining room feature carvings by master craftsman Herbert Millard.