He was born in 1916 to Polish immigrants in Holyoke, Massachusetts. When he was 14 years old, the family moved to the hard coal fields of Pennsylvania, where his father and grandfather previously worked in coal mines under the mountains surrounding Mount Carmel. Our honored guest started his writing career there when he was still in high school. During the Second World War, he was a writer in the U.S. Navy and rose to the rank of Chief Specialist (X). He has lived in Philadelphia, off and on, for 61 years, with his wife of 54 years, and raised two sons who were born in the nation's capital during the war.
He was a member of the Philadelphia Historical Commission from 1969 to 1985, and before that was president, for four years, of the Spring Garden Civic Association in Philadelphia and the first lay chairman of the nominating committee and vice president of the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA). He was chairman of the Ethnic Council and vice president of the Philadelphia 1976 Bicentennial Corporation. He is the oldest surviving male founder of the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, an affiliate of the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC), and the person who created the name of that local organization.
This is not the first time he has earned an award by hard work. In 1967 he received the Kosciuszko Sesquicentennial Medal in Toronto from PAHA for finding General Kosciuszko's last residence in America, buying it for the purpose of a national shrine, and putting up an historical marker at 3rd and Pine Streets. in Philadelphia. He received a medal from the Steuben Society of America for uncovering General Steuben's principal quarters at Valley Forge and another one for erecting a monument on Anthony Sadowski's grave 300 years after his birth and a roadside marker in Douglassville, PA. In 1989, he earned the Mieczyslaw Haiman Medal from PAHA "for outstanding Contribution in the field of Polish American studies." In 1997 the ACPC recognized his lifetime of contributions to research in Polish American history by awarding him the Distinguished Service Award.
He waited all of 26 years to prove that General Pulaski's remains were buried in a brick vault under the monument in Savannah. Until the bones were brought out in September 1996 few believed the legendary Pinkowski. The mayor of Savannah gave him a key to the city for literally rescuing Pulaski's body from oblivion. His mix of originality, depth, and painstaking research are hard to beat. All these qualities shine through in his many books and articles. The years he devoted to research on Kosciuszko and Pulaski, not to mention hundreds of minor figures, have brightened the pages of American History. He is the author of several books and hundreds of articles.
In 2001 Edward Pinkowski was a recipient of the Cavalier's Cross of the Order of Merit (Krzyz Kawalerski Orderu Zaslugi RP) awarded by President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski.