Hollis graduated from Hanceville High School in 1971 and later attended St Bernard College in Cullman and Jacksonville State University. He began working at the Cullman Times in 1973 and spent time at the Anniston Star before joining the News as an outdoors editor in 1978.
Hollis took on the college football beat covering the Auburn Tigers for more than a decade, and then switched to covering the Alabama Crimson Tide. Over more than 40 years with the News, he won 12 Associated Press awards, 6 Alabama Associated Press awards, and 42 awards from the Alabama Sports Writers Association. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Writers Hall of Fame in 2008.
In retirement, Hollis continued to produce the Birmingham News' annual Southeastern Conference preview section, and contributing a weekly college football picks feature.
- Thomas, Ben & Creg Stephenson (November 2, 2021) "‘A good man, a fair reporter:’ Hall of Fame Alabama sports writer Charles Hollis dies." The Birmingham News