Edward Charles O'Gorman was born in New York City on September 26, 1929. He received a B.A. from St. Michael's College in 1950 and later an M.A. from Columbia University. He received Guggenheim fellowships in 1956 and 1962, and his poetry won the Lamont Poetry Selection award in 1958, leading to the first publication of his collected works, "The Night of the Hammer," in 1959. In 1957, Ned O'Gorman began teaching at Iona College. His contract was abruptly cancelled in 1960 for the following year, probably because of his involvement in peace demonstrations held there by the students. O'Gorman soon published another set of poems, "Adam Before the Mirror" in 1961. O'Gorman was an editor at "Jubilee" from 1962 to 1965, and during that time published another set of poems, "The Buzzard and the Peacock" (1964).
O'Gorman later taught at Tougaloo College in Mississippi in 1965 and 1966. In the mid-1960's O'Gorman decide to get involved in the local community in Harlem in New York City. He founded the Children's Storefront, meant as a refuge for children, 'where the senses of the children could thrive..or, at the very least, exist.' The Children's Storefront, now privately supported without any federal, city or state aid, accepts any child who wishes to come there.
O'Gorman has continued to publish both poetry and books relating to his experiences in Harlem as a teacher. Among his works are "The Harvesters' Vase: Poems" (1968); (editor) "Prophetic Voices: Ideas and Words on Revolution" (1969); "The Storefront: A Community of Children on 129th Street and Madison Avenue" (1970); "The Blue Butterfly" (children's, 1971); "The Flag and Hawk Flies" (poetry, 1972); and "The Children Are Dying" (1978). He has also published articles and poetry in various magazines including "Columbia Forum," "Chicago Choice," "Commonweal," "Jubilee," "The Nation," "Poetry," "Harper's Bazaar" and "Atlantic Monthly."