Edward Durrel Stone was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 9, 1902. He attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville from 1920 to 1923 before moving to Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, he studied at the Boston Architectural Club, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1927, he won the prestigious Rotch Travelling Fellowship (now called the Rotch Travelling Scholarship), which afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and North Africa for two years.
Upon his return, he moved to New York City. He designed the main lobby and grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, assisted on the Rockefeller Center project, and was the principal designer on Radio City Music Hall. In 1933, he received his first independent commission from Richard Mandel. This led to him to be selected as the design architect, in association with Philip Goodwin, for the Museum of Modern Art. During World War II, he was the Chief of the Planning and Design Section for the U.S. Army Air Forces.
After the war, he reopened his firm. He also served as the Chief Design Critic and Associate Professor of Architecture at the Yale University. In 1955, the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded Stone the Medal of Honor. Some of the buildings Stone would design in the next two decades include the Stanford University Medical Center (Palo Alto), the Gallery of Modern Art (New York City), the National Geographic Society headquarters (Washington DC), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), the Standard Oil building (Chicago), the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (Islamabad), and the Florida State Capitol (Tallahassee). He died in New York City on August 6, 1978.