Earl Lincoln Poole was born in 1891 in Haddonfleld, New Jersey. He, like his three brothers, was artistically inclined as a child. He attended Central Catholic High School in Philadelphia. He remained in Philadelphia and continued his higher education at the University of Pennsylvania,the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art (now the Philadelphia Museum of Art). He was a Jessup Scholar at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Poole traveled to the Central American countries of Guatemala and Honduras and studied flowers, plants, animals, and bird life. In 1913, Birds of Virginia was published with illustrations by Poole himself. In 1915 Poole relocated to Reading, Pennsylvania at the invitation of Dr. Levi Mengel, who had arranged a teaching opportunity for him at the Reading Boys High School.
Poole continued to study, write, and illustrate the bird life around the world. He traveled extensively to gain thorough first hand knowledge of his subjects. His illustrations were detailed renditions of exacting scientific proportions, anatomy, and character. Poole illustrated such works as Bird Studies of Old Cope May, Birds of Pennsylvania, Birds of Colorado, Birds of Colombia, and Birds of the Philippines. His bird and wildlife books are still considered important and significant landmark references.
Poole painted prolifically and exhibited his works throughout the country. Some of the institutions where his works were shown include: in Philadelphia, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Academy of the Natural Sciences, in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles County Museum, in Washington, D. C., at the Congressional Library, and in Ottawa, Canada, at the Victoria Memorial Museum.