Interview with Charlie Cheever
What was it like growing up in San Antonio?
I was born in the Philippines, where my father was stationed. My parents came to SA in 1936. I attended 5 high schools and never graduated, but went on to attend West Point and graduated in 1949. After law school I was offered a job in El Paso, but came back to SA to work for the bank in January 1957.
What was the first philanthropic gift you made and why?
At 10 years old, I put some money in the Salvation Army kettle during Christmas time.
What do you want to leave behind/instill in your children?
I want to instill the work ethic I received from my parents in my children and my grandchildren.
Why do you care about the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio?
When my father was in the Army, he served in Patton’s army that liberated Dachau. My father was Patton’s judge advocate, and Patton insisted that what they saw be documented. My father did not talk about it when he came back from the WWII, but he was moved by the suffering he saw at Dachau.
What did you learn from your parents?
I learned that it takes a lot of hard work to succeed. My parents were from humble beginnings in Boston, MA and worked very hard and lived conservatively.
What volunteer activities do you find most rewarding and why?
I have found raising money for non-profits to be the most rewarding. I like meeting the challenge and reaching the goal. First big campaign I did was $21 million for the San Fernando Cathedral. I want to say that I have had the most rewarding life!
What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Being raised by my parents was the nicest thing that was ever done for me. That was the most important thing.