Charles Garabedian was born on December 29, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. His parents were Armenian immigrants, who arrived to the United States in order to escape the Armenian Genocide. Charles was the youngest of three children. His mother died, when he was two years old. His father, seriously injured shortly afterward in an automobile accident, was forced to place the siblings in an orphanage. Some time later, Charles's father took him and his siblings to Los Angeles.