Charles S. Hyneman was born in 1900 on a farm in Gibson County, Indiana. He received the A.B. degree from Indiana University in 1923, and his A.M. in 1925. After pursuing graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, he moved on to the University of Illinois, where he received his PhD in 1929.
Professor Hyneman taught political science at Syracuse University from 1928-1930 before returning to Illinois as assistant professor from 1930-37. In 1937 he became professor and chairman of the department of government at Louisiana State University. He became director of the new school of government and public affairs the following year, and was instrumental in organizing the Louisiana Municipal Association and initiating a merit system for the state civil service.
During World War II, Hyneman held three successive government posts. As administrative analyst in the Bureau of the Budget, he oversaw matters relating to the Office of Civil Defence. Later he worked in the Office of the Provost Marshall General in the War Department as Chief of the Training Branch, selecting ten universities to serve as centers for the training of civil affairs officers. Finally, he worked in the Federal Communications Commission, first as the Director of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, and next as Assistant to the Chairman and then Executive Officer of the FCC.
In January 1947 Hyneman returned to teaching as professor and later chairman of the political science department of Northwestern University. At this time he also served as secretary of the Civil Service Board regulating employment in the Chicago Sanitary District. Hyneman joined the political science faculty at Indiana University in 1956, and in 1961 was named as a Distinguished Professor. He was visiting professor at George Washington University, the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, UCLA, and the University of Washington. He served as President of the American Political Science Association during 1960-61.
He produced innumerable articles and many books: The First American Neutrality (1935), Bureaucracy in a Democracy (1950), The Study of Politics (1959), The Supreme Court on Trial (1963), A Second Federalist (1967), Popular Government in America (1968), Voting in Indiana (1979), American Political Writing During the Founding Era (1983), and The American Founding Experience (1994), the last published posthumously. He also left two sizable unpublished manuscripts, Government and Politics in the United States, and many chapters of a book on the American political system to have been co-authored by Hubert H. Humphrey. Dr. Hyneman died in 1985.