Speir graduated from West End High School in 1943 and immediately enlisted in the U. S. Navy. Under the Navy's pre-flight program he attended Howard College, Northwestern Louisiana University and the University of Georgia and participated in service football. After World War II he secured a football scholarship to Vanderbilt University and earned a bachelor of arts in economics in 1949 and a juris doctorate in 1951. Before leaving college to return to Birmingham he married Teeny Shropshire.
Speir opened an office specializing in real estate law. He became general counsel to the Birmingham Association of Homebuilders and the Homebuilders Association of Alabama and chaired the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission. He was part-owner and chairman of the Alabama Title Company and co-founded the Shelby State Bank. In addition he owned a Hallmark Cards franchise at Eastwood Mall.
Speir was a co-founder and CEO of Brookwood Medical Center and Brookwood Health Services, remaining in that position until Brookwood merged with American Medical International in 1981, after which he continued to serve on the Board of Directors. He made an unsuccessful run for the Alabama House of Representatives in 1982. Though he never held elected office, he did serve on the executive committee of the Jefferson County Republican Committee and as finance chairman for the Republican Party of Alabama. He was also a member of the Republican Eagles and GoPAC.
Speir then founded Healthcare Services of America and headed that company until it merged with Ramsey Health Care. In 1988 he founded Speir Investments, Inc., through which he and his sons developed numerous residential subdivisions in Homewood and Hoover.
- "Charles A. Speir" obituary (March 2, 2010) Birmingham News