Charles "Chuck" W. Whitman was born in Montpelier, Idaho. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in theatre and cinematic arts in 1957 and a master's degree in theatre in 1958.
Whitman was involved in the Hill Cumorah Pageant as a pageant researcher for his doctoral dissertation. He returned to BYU in 1965 as a professor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts. He retired thirty years later in 1995.