Eleanor Betts was born in Chadds Ford, Pa on November 5, 1912. Her parents were Dr. William Williams Betts and Edith Florence Brown. She was raised in Chadds Ford, Pa and attended the Chadd's Ford Consolidated School and West Chester High School. Her religion was methodist and upon graduation from high school she attended Dickinson College. She graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation she worked at colleges and universities in Wilmington Delaware.