Edward Rathbone Bacon was president of a railroad, lawyer and financier. His father was David Rinaldo Bacon and his mother was Elizabeth Rathbone. He had four siblings, Walter Rathbone, Lathrup Rufus, John Ganson, and Mary Sibley Bacon. Bacon never married or had children. Bacon served as the vice-president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and as the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern Railroad. He also worked as a lawyer and financier. Bacon died on December 2, 1915 in Baltimore, Maryland as a result of an appendicitis operation he had a week earlier.
Bacon's main residence was 247 5th Avenue, New York, where he lived with his brother Walter and his sister-in-law Virginia P. Bacon. He is also reported to have lived in Buffalo for a time. Bacon worked out of an office at 2 Wall Street in New York. He traveled often to Europe, which is where he purchased many of the works that made up his extensive art collection. He was included in the list of notable people arriving from Europe to New York City in the New York Times on October 13, 1895.