Charles P. Lykes served as president of Lykes Brothers, Inc. from 1957-83 when he became chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the cattle, citrus, meatpacking and shipping companies. He began his career with the family firm upon graduation from Washington & Lee University in 1939 with a degree in commerce. Lykes has been chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Lykes Energy, Inc.; chairman of Lykes Insurance Inc.; chairman of M&M Supply Co. of Florida, Inc.; and vice chairman of the board of First Florida Banks, Inc.; and the Florida Progress Corporation. During his early years, he worked on the Lykes Florida Ranches with his uncle Thompson Mayo Lykes. During World War II, he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.