Edwin Cooper became interested in railroads and their history at a very young age. His interest in the Cotton Belt stemmed from an article about that railroad by the late Jim Boyd in Railroad Model Craftman. C. W. Standefer's youngest grandson Mark lived in the same dormitory as the author. During his first year in college at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas the author was introduced to C. W. Standefer by Mark Standefer.
Years later while writing an article for The Cotton Belt Star, a publication of the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, the author renewed contact with Mark Standefer and found out about C. W. Standefer's photo album. The idea for the book Cotton Belt Engineer proceeded from that point.
The author operates his own consulting business in Kentucky. He consults with public housing authorities and has worked with HUD programs since 1990.
The author has been married to his wife Cindy since 1977, they have four children and eight grandchildren.