Charles Wilson Hackett, professor and author, was born in Chilton, Texas, on June 19, 1888, the son of James Franklin and Mittie Matilda (Greer) Hackett. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Texas in 1909 and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 1914 and 1917 at the University of California. He married Jean Nette Hunter on June 30, 1915; they had two children. Hackett accepted a position as adjunct professor at the University of Texas in 1918, was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 1923, and served as professor of Latin-American history from 1926 to 1944, at which time he was named a distinguished professor. He served as a United States delegate to the Pan-American Congress in Panama City in 1926; he also attended the Third Pan-American Institute of Geography and History in Lima, Peru, in 1939. He became director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in 1941. Under his directorship the institute built one of the most comprehensive libraries of its kind in the world (see NETTIE LEE BENSON LATIN AMERICAN COLLECTION).
Hackett was author and editor of numerous works on Latin-American history, including Historical Documents Relating to New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and Approaches Thereto, to 1773 (3 vols., 1923–37), The Mexican Revolution and the United States, 1910–1926 (1926), Pichardo's Treatise on the Limits of Louisiana and Texas (4 vols., 1931–46), New Spain and the Anglo-American West (1932), and Revolt of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Otermín's Attempted Reconquest, 1680–1682 (1942). He contributed numerous articles to historical journals, including the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, which he served as managing editor from 1937 to 1939. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Sigma, the American Hispanic Society, the American Historical Association, the Texas State Historical Association, the New Mexico Historical Society, the Texas Knights of Columbus Historical Society, and the Quivira Society. Hackett died in Austin on February 26, 1951, and was buried at Austin Memorial Park.