Edmund Marion Ashe, Jr., was born August 11, 1908 in Norwalk, Connecticut. His father, also named Edmund Marion Ashe, was born in 1867 in New York. His mother, Estelle Egbert, was born in 1872 in New York. His parents married in West New Brighton, Staten Island, NY, in 1893. They had two children. His older sister Dorothy Ashe was born in 1894. The family lived in Norwalk, CT, on Wolfpit Avenue north of Murray Street. His father was a renowned artist, whose illustrations regularly appeared in nationwide magazines, such as Munsey's, Scribner's, Collier's, and Harper's Monthly.
His parents also had an apartment in New York City at 320 West 111th Street on the corner of Manhattan Avenue. Their windows overlooked scenic Morningside Park behind the cathedral of St. John The Divine.
In 1914 his father rented an art studio in the historic Vermeer Studios at 116 East 66th Street east of Park Avenue.
In 1916 his father organized a Men's Afternoon Life Class at the Vermeer Studios. The class was popular with other professional artists in NYC.
In 1921 his father became an Associate Professor of Painting in the Art Department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA.
While his parents moved to Pittsburgh, he and his older sister attended boarding schools. He was enrolled at Franklin & Marshall Academy in Pennsylvania.
In 1926 during his Senior Year he was elected Class President. He drew illustrations for the school yearbook.
On June 10, 1927 he graduated high school. That summer he lived with his parents at 1241 Murdoch Street in Pittsburgh, PA. That fall he began to attend the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he studied with his father in the Art Department. His father had gone on to become a full Professor as well as the Head of the Art Deparment.
On April 3, 1928 Ed Ashe Jr. secretly eloped with another student, Louise G., to Elkton, Maryland, where they were married. After Spring Break their honeymoon ended and the newlyweds returned to college. He went back to live with his parents in their Pittsburgh apartment, while his wife lived in her old dorm room. Louise Ashe was disappointed that her married life was a return to college routine. She demanded he provide a private home. When he refused to house or support her she sued for divorce. After four years the Pennsylvania courts finally granted the divorce.
In June 9, 1931 he graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Other artists that studied at this school at different times include Gloria Stoll and Kelly Freas.
After graduating college he continued to live with his parents, but began to work in Pittsburgh as a commercial artist.
In the autumn of 1931 he left Pittsburgh and moved back to his parent's country home on Wolfpit Avenue in Norwalk, CT, from which he traveled by commuter train into Manhattan to sell freelance illustrations.
On November 5, 1932 his divorce was decreed.
During the Great Depression he worked as a muralist for the WPA Federal Art Project, an enlightened government program that provided relief income for artists. Pulp artists Delos Palmer, Elton Fax, Lee Browne Coye, George Avison, Ralph Nelson, and Remington Schuyler also worked on mural projects for this same government program.
After 1939 he drew for several NYC companies that published comic books, such as Chesler, Dell, DC Comics, MLJ, Fiction House, Fawcett, and Street & Smith.
He also drew pen and ink story illustrations for pulp magazines. His work appeared in Sweetheart Stories, Big Chief Western, Star Adventure Magazine, Complete War Stories, Complete Western Book, Ten-Story Sports, Western Novels and Short Stories, and Stirring Detective & Western Stories.
At this same time his father rented an art studio in NYC at 27 West 15th Street, which Ed Ashe Jr. also used as a studio for his freelance art career.
In 1940 his father retired from teaching and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, which was the hometown of his parents. Ed Ashe and his wife Estelle lived across Charleston Harbor at 411 Bennett in Mount Pleasant, SC.
On June 15, 1941 Ed Ashe, Jr., married Beatrice Bishop in Smithtown, NY. She was born on December 28, 1918 in New York. Her father, Elliot F. Bishop, was a famous hotel owner. He ran the Seven Ponds Inn at Watermill on Long Island. This fashionable hotel offered 40 guest rooms with excellent service and cuisine for the smart set to enjoy dinner parties at the spacious Merry-Go-Round Ballroom with Dudley Doe and his Orchestra.
The married couple moved to his parent's home on Wolfpit Avenue in Norwalk, CT. Other artists that lived nearby included Edwin Georgi (1896-1964), Gabor Peterdi (1915-2001), James M. Wilcox, and Charles L. Wrenn.
On May 21, 1942 his father died at the age of seventy-five in an hospital in Charleston, SC.
During World War II Ed Ashe Jr. did not serve in the military.
During the Post-War period he illustrated The American Weekly.
In the 1950s he drew syndicated comic strips for newspapers.
During the 1960s he worked in advertising with Johnstone & Cushing.
In 1960 he and his wife Beatrice moved to New Milford, CT, where they lived on Buckingham Road.
During the 1970s he was an active community volunteer. He drew color caricatures of visitors to the New Milford Annual Antiques Festival.
On February 8, 1983 his wife, Beatrice Bishop Ashe, died at the age of sixty-four in New Milford.
Ed Ashe, Jr., died at the age of seventy-eight in a hospital in New Haven, CT, on September 4, 1986.
© David Saunders 2013