Dr. Edward Allison McDowell, Jr. was born on August 20, 1898 in Mitford, South Carolina. He was educated at Furman University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked as a newspaper reporter (1919-1922) and private secretary to the governor of South Carolina (1923-1925). He served as fellow in New Testament Greek under A.T. Robertson from 1928 to 1931. McDowell married Doris Price in 1925, and had two children, Edward, III and Elizabeth.
McDowell served as pastor at Vinton, Virginia, Baptist Church and First Baptist Church, Union, South Carolina. In 1935, he became a faculty member of Southern Seminary, and in 1952, he became professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he retired in 1964.
An active member of the community, McDowell was a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, a charter member of the Board of Directors and Life Fellow of the Southern Regional Council, chairman of the executive committee of the North Carolina Council on Human Relations, member of a special Southern Baptist Convention Committee on Race Relations, and member of the board of trustees of the American Baptist Theological Seminary. His accomplishments include the publication of three books. McDowell died on August 25, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia.