Edward Digby Baltzell was born in Philadelphia in 1915. He graduated with a B.S. from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1940 and with a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1952. He served on the faculty of sociology at Penn from 1947 to 1986, the year when he retired. He has since been Emeritus Professor of History and Sociology of the University.
Baltzell has authored any books, including Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making of a National Upper Class (1958),American Business Aristocracy (1962), The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America (1964), Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia (1979), and Judgment and Sensibility: Religion and Stratification (1994).