Reed was born in Garden City, Kansas. Reed's high school basketball team became Kansas State Champions despite being from a very small, rural school.Template:Citation needed He joined the United States Air Force in 1970 after attending the United States Air Force Academy. At the Academy, he graduated number one in his class and served as cadet wing commander, the highest position a USAFA cadet can achieve. Reed was only the 9th person in the history of the United States Air Force Academy to max out (top score) on the Physical Fitness Test.Template:Citation needed
While in the Air Force, Reed attended Princeton University and received a Master's Degree in Public Affairs. Later, during the Vietnam War, he served in Thailand. He left the Air Force in 1975, having reached the rank of Captain, and attended Stanford Law School where he earned a Law degree in 1978.
After passing the bar, Reed moved to San Jose and began work as a private attorney. He specialized in environmental, employment, land use and real estate law, and commercial litigation.Template:Citation needed
Reed is married with two children. His daughter, Major Kim Campbell, joined the Air Force and was also number one in her class at the Air Force Academy. Reed and his daughter were the first father and daughter to both graduate from the United States Air Force Academy and become Cadet Wing Commanders. Kim flew combat missions in an A-10 Warthog over Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and swore him into office at his inauguration. His son, Alex, is a graduate of Santa Clara University.
Early Political Career
Starting in the 1980s and continuing to 2000, Reed served on numerous commissions, boards, and committees including the City Planning Commission and the San Jose Downtown Association.
While on the San Jose City Council, Reed was known for often being the lone dissenter in many votes. He was thought to be the most outspoken critic of the status quo on the council and voted against many noteworthy agenda items. His voting record was later a focus of his Mayoral campaign.Template:Citation needed
Mayoral election 2006
In 2005, with the current mayor term-limited out, Reed announced his plan to run for Mayor of San Jose. In the mayoral primary held on June 6, 2006, in a crowded field of ten candidates, Reed won 28.8% of the vote, putting him in the mayoral run-off election held on November 7, 2006 against San Jose Vice-Mayor Cindy Chavez who received 23.17% of the vote. Michael Mulcahy received 10.74%, Dave Cortese received 16.37%, David Pandori received 17.86%.
In the run-off voting held on November 7, 2006, Reed won a solid victory over Chavez who conceded the race just before midnight. Final tallies show Reed garnered 117,394 votes to Chavez's 80,720 (in percentage terms 59.26% to 40.74%).
During the Mayoral campaign, Reed was criticized in a series of attack ads by Chavez and Labor Unions for getting reimbursed for various expenses that he had as a council member from his office fund. He repaid the funds when the issue hit the media and apologized to the public for any sense of wrongdoing. The funds in question were all approved by the City Clerk's Office and in an October 2006 City Council meeting, City Clerk, Lee Price, stated that the reimbursements did not violate City law and was common practice among the City Council offices. Regardless, early in his administration, Reed had the City Clerk's Office produce a more detailed explanation for approved uses and restricted uses. Template:Citation needed
Transition to Mayor
In order to provide a smooth transition into office, Reed put together a 67-member transition committee to aide his transition staff in policy issues. Assisted by former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery, Reed hosted publicly held meetings where many policy issues were discussed. The subcommittees for the transition included Jobs & the Economy, Environment, Education, Public Safety, and Government Reform and Ethics.Template:Citation needed
Members of the transition committee included current and former elected officials, community leaders, and politically active citizens.Template:Citation needed
When taking office in January, 2007, Reed immediately pushed many of his 34 Reed Reforms, including focusing on outreach efforts to get the community involved in the budget process. Outreach included phone polls, mailers, and encouraging people to attend community meetings hosted by Mayor Reed.Template:Citation needed
At his inauguration on January 9, 2007, to the traditional oath of office, he also promised "no lying, no cheating, no stealing." This added mantra was derived from the Air Force Academy oath.Template:Citation needed
Chuck Reed has gained many nicknames during his tenure in office including "Mr. Integrity", "the Anti-Ron Gonzales", and "Captain America" due to his habit of sporting the American Flag. On October 11, 2007 at a meeting with more than 100 Silcon Valley CEOs, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger referred to Mayor Reed as the "Green Mayor" because of Reed's environmental priorities.
San Jose's Green Vision
Mayor Reed announced his Green Vision for San Jose in October 2007. The Green Vision is a comprehensive environmental guide for San Jose over the next 15 years, setting 10 goals. The Green Vision was adopted by the San Jose City Council on October 30, 2007 in an 11-0 vote. Mayor Reed aims to bring 25,000 clean tech jobs to San Jose and attracted Tesla Motors and several solar power companies to the city in 2008. He attributes his progress so far to "moving at the speed of business" and streamlining procedures. One city approval process (special tenant improvements) was reduced from 3–6 months to one hour. ".
Launches Bid for Re-Election
- Chavez Concedes SJ Mayor's Race - San Jose Mercury News story from November 8, 2006.
- Post-victory interview - Metro, November 16, 2006.
-  PressBanner.com October 11, 2007.
- City of San Jose Web site
- Official San Jose Mayoral Web site
- Re-Elect San José Mayor Chuck Reed 2010 Web Site
- Fresh Dialogues interview January 2009, Mayor's tactics for attracting clean tech to Silicon Valley
- Fresh Dialogues interview November 2008, Mayor Reed welcomes Obama's green tech focus