Charles Mackay (27 March 1814 – 24 December 1889) was a Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter, remembered mainly for his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
Mackay was educated at the Caledonian Asylum, in London. In 1830 he was engaged as a private secretary to William Cockerill, began writing in French in the Courrier Belge, and sent English poems to a local newspaper called The Telegraph. In the summer of 1830 he visited Paris, and he spent 1831 with Cockerill at Aix-la-Chapelle. Mackay engaged in journalism in London: in 1834 he was an occasional contributor to The Sun. From the spring of 1835 till 1844 he was assistant sub-editor of the Morning Chronicle.