Edward Burt Gunn was born in Starkville, Mississippi on September 9, 1922 to George Clanton Gunn(April 2,1881-July 25, 1967) and Allie Hunt O’Brien Gunn(1884-1983), who were 41 and 38 years old, respectively. He was the youngest of five children and had three brothers and one sister. Edward’s sibings were Snorie L. Gunn, born in 1908, George Clanton Gunn Jr.(1912 - 1999), General James William Gunn, born in 1917, and Talmadge Delanto Gunn, born in 1917.
The family lived on Greensboro Street in Starkville
Gunn graduated from Starkville High School in 1939 and enrolled in Mississippi State University's College of Business the following fall, where he pledged Kappa Alpha Fraternity(members list depicted). As of the 1940 census, he was the first of his family to attend college. He graduated in 1943 with a degree in business.