Dow was raised in a close family in the Highland Park area of
Los Angeles, California. As a child he dreamed of becoming an
Air Force jet pilot. His room was covered with pictures of airplanes.
But that was not to be, as he was limited by a severe hearing
loss and other developmental conditions.
Charlie graduated from Hollywood High School and became an automobile
mechanic. He later changed his occupation and became a precision
machinist. Shortly before his final illness, he earned a certificate
in Electronics Technology from San Bernardino Valley College.
Charlie always had a soft spot in his heart for animals, and
they were attracted to him. He was patient enough to get wild
birds and squirrels to take food from his hand. He doted on his
pets. At one point he was feeding most of the cats in his neighborhood.
Charlie could be described as gentle, kind, trusting and unassuming.
Perhaps his best legacy is his fine example of bravery in facing
Charlie was always interested in astronomy and fascinated with
space exploration. This final memorial spaceflight honors his
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him
step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
— Henry David Thoreau
The Family of Charles Leslie