E.A. Daly was the third son of solicitor Charles John Daly and his wife Maria (nee O'Neill), of Springvale (near Kanturk), County Cork, Ireland. Little is known of Daly's early life, however some of his short stories suggest that he spent a period at sea. He probably arrived in Australia during the 1880s, and then spent a decade or more working as a horse breaker and drover, before managing cattle stations in North and Central Queensland. During the Boer War he served in the 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry. He spent his later years at Yeronga, in Brisbane. Further biographical details remain to be established.