Eleanor Early was born in Newton and grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Her family wanted her to become a teacher and she attended a program for kindergarten teachers at Miss Wheelock's College (now Wheelock College). But after graduation in 1917, she headed straight for the local newspaper to begin a career in journalism, a daring thing for a young woman of that era to do. For the next few decades, she traveled around the globe.
The articles and books she wrote about her experiences captivated thousands; her books became bestsellers. Her debut guidebook, "And This Is Boston!," was published in 1930. During World War II, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she continued to write newspaper articles and hosted a radio show for the many women who flocked to the capital to fill government jobs vacated by men away in the armed forces. She produced several holiday travel guides such as New Orleans Holiday (1946) and Caribbean Holiday (1960). She was the author of regionally famous The New England Cookbook (1954). Her last book, Washington Holiday, was published in 1955, and she continued to freelance until her death in 1969.