Like Huckleberry Finn, Charles Davidson lit "out for the Territory." A native of Oklahoma, Davidson headed west in 1952, looking for new opportunities; first, he headed to Hollywood with a buddy, and then, after spending his money in one week, Davidson accepted a job as a civil engineer in San José.
Combining his Civil Engineering degree with his astute business skills, Davidson is the founder of five companies: DKB Homes, one of the largest residential real estate developers in California; L&D Construction; DKD Property Management; Davidson Homes; and the Charles W. Davidson Company. Despite his success, there are other achievements that he believes are more noteworthy.
Attending San José State during the day, Davidson worked nights in the city's railroad yard; he prioritized his time, making room for what he believes most valuable in life: his family, education, and the productivity of work. These three foundations have shaped his actions.
Davidson has never permitted his own achievements to cloud his judgment, and his ethics and business practices are one and the same. One's responsibility to others, according to Davidson, is very simple: live by the Golden Rule.
As a "child of the Depression Era," his proudest achievement is "building 5,000 subsidized housing units at a time when it wasn't popular to do so." And, when corporate accounting scandals have destroyed many people's dreams of retirement, Davidson personally manages his employees' pension plans. Committed to supporting public service organizations, Davidson also believes that the U.S. must produce more engineers and has endowed scholarships and professorships at several institutions.
A man of the people, a true and committed populist, Davidson's beliefs remain unshaken by change and turmoil. One can learn from his success as an engineer and businessman, but, perhaps more importantly, one can learn invaluable lessons from the way he has conducted himself throughout his life.
I have no illusions that part of life is luck. I do not discount that. I go out for a walk every morning and I look up to the sky and say, Thank you.' I don't know who I'm thanking, but I'm not taking anything for granted