Charles Babbage was a British mathematician, philosopher, inventor, and mechanical engineer who is best known for his work on the design of mechanical computers. He was born on December 26, 1791, in London, England.

Babbage was the son of Benjamin Babbage, a London merchant, and Elizabeth Plumleigh Teape, and was the eighth of their nine children. He was educated at home by his mother and private tutors, and showed an early interest in mathematics and science.

In 1810, Babbage entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he excelled in mathematics and was elected to the Cambridge Mathematical Society. He became friends with several other notable mathematicians and scientists, including John Herschel and George Peacock.

After completing his studies at Cambridge, Babbage worked as a tutor and then as a professor of mathematics at the Royal Institution in London. In 1814, he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society, the oldest and most prestigious scientific society in the world.

Babbage is best known for his work on the design of mechanical computers, which he called "Difference Engines" and "Analytical Engines." These early computers were intended to perform mathematical calculations with great accuracy and speed, and were based on the use of gears, levers, and mechanical memory.

Babbage's work on mechanical computers was groundbreaking and influential, and his designs were later used as the basis for many of the early computers that were built in the 20th century. Despite his contributions to the field of computing, Babbage was never able to build a working prototype of his difference engine or analytical engine, due to financial and technical difficulties.

Despite these setbacks, Babbage's work has had a lasting impact on the field of computer science, and he is considered one of the fathers of the modern computer. He died on October 18, 1871, in London, England, at the age of 79.