Charlotte W. Conable, née Williams, was born in Buffalo, New York. In 1951, she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in home economics. In 1952, she married Barber B. Conable Jr., later a Congressman from western New York and president of the World Bank, with whom she had four children. She earned a master’s degree in women’s studies from George Washington University in 1976 and then became the public policy project coordinator for GWU's Women Studies Program and Policy Center. In 1977, she published Women at Cornell: The Myth of Equal Education, a book that was widely used in college-level women’s study programs. Mrs. Conable accompanied her husband on visits to more than 50 countries and advocated for issues of particular importance to women. She served as chairwoman of the national advisory committee for the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY.