Edward Flud Burrows was born on August 17, 1917, and raised on a cotton farm in Sumter County, South Carolina. He graduated from Washington and Lee University and then earned a master’s degree from Duke University. He later received a Rosenwald scholarship to complete his doctorate in history from The University of Wisconsin.
As a conscientious objector in World War II, Burrows was sent to a Quaker [Friends] camp in the mountains of North Carolina, and later to Florida, where he served prison time for refusing to carry a draft card. Following his release from prison, he spent a year at the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University. While doing research for the Commission on Interracial Cooperation in Atlanta, he was hired to teach history at Quaker-affiliated Guilford College in 1948. While at Guilford, Burrows was active in promoting integration, especially as a member of the Faculty Forum, an interracial organization with membership from many of the local colleges.
Following his retirement from Guilford in 1979, Burrows participated in an organization promoting fairness in the investigation into the November 1979 Nazi-Klan shootout. He also wrote an autobiography, Flud: One Southerner's Story, published in 1989. Burrows died on December 17, 1998 at the age of 81.