Dr. Chatham was born in Lakeland, Florida and grew up in Lakeland and Auburndale. He graduated from Lakeland High School in 1965 and attended the University of Florida for his pre-veterinary curriculum from 1965-1968. He entered the School of Veterinary medicine at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama in 1968 and graduated in 1972.
He practiced in Lakeland, Florida for one year, then entered the Air Force in 1973 as a captain in the USAF Veterinary Corps until 1975. He then worked for Central Animal Hospital in Tampa, Florida at an 24/7 veterinary emergency clinic until 1977. He established Auburndale Veterinary clinic in October, 1977. He is a well-established part of the community with his wife and two sons.