Ezell was the son of C. A. Ezell, a commercial fisherman who operated the family's fishing camp on the Tombigbee River in Choctaw County. He graduated from Choctaw County High School and from the University of Alabama. After earning his degree he joined the U.S. Navy and later worked as a banker in Birmingham.
Charles and his brother Joe opened a riverside catfish restaurant in Chunky, Mississippi using recipes from their fathers' fish camp restaurant. Soon the business expanded to several locations around the south, peaking at more than 35.
In December 2020 Ezell contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized. He took a turn after being released from the hospital, and died days later. He was buried at Hopewell Baptist Church in Lavaca. He was survived by his brother, seven children and six grandchildren.
- Thornton, William (December 18, 2020) "Catfish Cabin co-founder Charles Ezell dies of COVID-19." The Birmingham News