Charles Xavier was born to Brian and Sharon Xavier in September 1937, the only child of the noted scientist and his wife. While Charles was still very young, his father died unexpectedly, and his mother remarried one of Brian's peers, Kurt Marko, who was also a recent widower. This marriage resulted in Charles acquiring a younger stepbrother, Cain.
Charles became aware of his telepathic powers at a young age, and after the death of his mother and stepfather in the early 1960s, Xavier travelled the world for a while. In Tibet, he studied with monks who helped him learn methods of focusing and controlling his massive power, as well as reinforcing his ethical code as to how it should be used. During his travels he also met Erik Lehnsherr, who would eventually become his closest friend and confidant, and later his greatest foe.
Along with Erik, Charles turned the mansion he had grown up in into a school for mutants like himself, training them in their abilities and helping them find their place in the world. To this end, he created Cerebro, a device that would help him locate mutants across the globe. In time, he and Erik had a schism in their views on the coexistence of humans and mutants, resulting in Erik leaving to become the mutant terrorist known as Magneto. Determined to oppose Erik's madness and prove that his dream of mutant-human coexistence was worth pursuing, Charles formed the X-Men, joined by a number of his students.
With the creation of the Xavier Institute and the reduction in student numbers at the school, Charles has resumed his role as headmaster, once again taking an active role in the life of the school.
Charles suffered a serious spinal injury while mountain climbing in Switzerland in 1975, and has been reliant on his wheelchair for mobility since then. While his injury still allows him a range of feeling in his legs, he lacks mobility, and the source of the injury is in a location that made corrective surgery a significant risk at the time. To date, Charles has not expressed any wish to undergo any kind of procedure to restore the use of his legs.
Charles Xavier is considered to be the world's strongest telepath, almost without peer. Aided by Cerebro, his range for telepathic contact is almost global, and he is skilled enough to discern one specific mental pattern among millions with time and concentration.
Xavier is skilled in using his telepathy for therapeutic means as well, aiding trauma victims in recovery and assisting those under his care who have suffered psychic ailments.