Elizabeth Shamburger was born in Star, North Carolina, where she graduated from high school. She attended Guilford College for a year before transferring to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). She graduated in 1934 and worked at Pennsylvania Hospital in dietetics. She joined the American Dietetic Association and was given an appointment at the City Hospital in Baltimore.
Shamburger joined the army during World War II and was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She was transferred to Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being sent overseas. She was stationed in Naples, Italy, with the 300th General Hospital from Vanderbilt University, and planned meals for patients. She was discharged in 1945 after more than two years abroad.
Shamburger joined the Veteran’s Administration (VA) after the war and worked at VA hospitals in Memphis, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; Thomasville, Georgia; and Cleveland, Ohio. She then returned to UNCG for graduate school. She died 3 April 2009.