Charles Gordon was born in Glengarry County, Ontario. His father was a Scottish Presbyterian minister who came to Canada to preach to the Scottish settlement near Sherbrook in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Gordon graduated from the University of Toronto and then attended Knox College. He began his church work as a missionary in Southern Manitoba and was ordained in Calgary in 1890. In 1894, he came to Winnipeg to the pulpit of St. Stephen's where he remained to the end of his ministerial career. Gordon began his writing career in 1896 with a short story for the Presbyterian paper The Westminster Magazine. When he wrote his first book Black Rock: A Tale of the Selkirks, he introduced his pen-name "Ralph Connor". By the time he wrote The Sky Pilot (1899), he had established his name in literary circles. He also wrote The Man From Glengarry (1901), Glengarry School Days (1901), The Prospector (1904), The Life of James Robertson (1908) and The Foreigner (1909). In total, Gordon wrote over thirty novels, five million copies of which were sold around the world.