Born in Russia, Charles Jacobson began work as a men's tailor at the age of 11. In 1898, he immigrated to the United States, where he began work as a skirt maker in Boston. He served as Secretary of the Cloak and Skirtmakers Union in Boston (1900-1907).
When ILGWU president Julian Mortimer resigned on May 28, 1908, Charles Jacobson served as acting president of the International until the election of Abraham Rosenberg at the union's convention in Philadelphia in June.
After leaving Boston, Jacobson worked as representative for Local 25, the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers' Union (1913-1920). From 1920-1921, he served as the Executive Secretary of the Trade Union Immigration Bureau, and after 1923 he worked as representative to the New York Joint Board and complaint clerk for the New York Cloak and Dressmakers Union.
Jacobson was also a member of the Workmen's Circle, Forward Association, United Hebrew Trades, and the Socialist Party.