Russian baron. He was born in Moscow, graduated from the Law School. His father, Charles F. von Meck (Karl Otton Georg von Meck, 1821-1876) was a railroad engineer, co-owner of a number of Russian railways. His mother, Nadezhda Filaretovna (1831-1894) was the admirer and patron of music composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), the niece of whom, Anne Lvovna Davydova, married Nikolai Karlovich. After the 1917 revolution, NK von Meck remained to serve on the railway. He was a member of the Technical Committee and consultant to financial and economic management of the People's Commissariat of Railways (People's Commissariat). He was repeatedly subjected to harassment of the authorities for "bourgeois" origin. In 1919 he was arrested for th efirst time, but three days later released on bail. In March 1921 he was re-arrested on charges of "counter-revolutionary action against the Soviet system, but a week later, released by order of the Presidium of the Cheka. In 1923, Nikolai Karlovich was a member of the editorial board of "Motor".
He was married to Anna Lvovna nee Davydova (1864-1942).