Justice Charles Canady was born in Lakeland, Florida, in 1954. He is married to Jennifer Houghton, and they have two children. He received his B.A. from Haverford College in 1976 and his J.D. from the Yale Law School in 1979.
Justice Canady practiced law with the firm of Holland and Knight in Lakeland from 1979 through 1982. He practiced with the firm of Lane, Trohn, et al., from 1983 through 1992.
From November 1984 to November 1990, Justice Canady served three terms in the Florida House of Representatives, and from January 1993 to January 2001, he served four terms in the United States House of Representatives. Throughout his service in Congress, Justice Canady was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. For three terms, from January 1995 to January 2001, Justice Canady was the Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Upon leaving Congress, Justice Canady became General Counsel to Governor Jeb Bush. He was appointed by Governor Bush to the Second District Court of Appeal for a term beginning November 20, 2002.
On August 28, 2008, Justice Canady was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Charlie Crist and took office on September 8, 2008. He served as Chief Justice from July 2010 through June 2012.