Charles Schuchert (1858-1942) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. His formal education consisted only of bookkeeping and drawing courses. He did, however, receive honorary degrees from Yale, A.M., 1904, and Sc.D., 1930; New York University, LL.D., 1914; and Harvard, Sc.D., 1935.
Schuchert's introduction to paleontology resulted from his interest in the Cincinnati Society of Natural History, where he formed a relationship with the Society's curator of paleontology, Edward Oscar Ulrich. Between 1885 and 1888, Schuchert served as Ulrich's assistant in preparing lithographs for the state geological surveys of Illinois and Minnesota. In 1888, Schuchert was appointed as an assistant to James Hall, the New York Geological Survey Director, in Albany. In the summer of 1891, Schuchert joined Newton Horace Winchell in the study of Minnesota brachiopods. A year later, Charles Emerson Beecher, one of Hall's former assistants, hired Schuchert as preparator at Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History; this work at Yale was later exhibited at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. In 1893, he was hired by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and in 1894, was appointed Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the United States National Museum. He remained there for ten years during which time he participated in Robert Peary's 1897 expedition to Greenland and represented the United States government at the International Geological Congress in Vienna in 1903.
In 1904, Schuchert succeeded Beecher as Curator of geological collections at the Peabody Museum and was appointed Professor of Historical Geology at Yale. From 1909 to 1921, he was Chairman of the Geology Department, Acting Dean of the Graduate School from 1914 to 1916, and administrative head of the Museum from 1912 to 1923. In 1925, he retired from teaching but continued to collect specimens for Peabody's collections.