Edward Hindle was born in Sheffield, England, on 21 March 1886 , the eldest of six children to Edward James Hindle and Sarah Elizabeth Dewar. He attended classes at Bradford Technical College, Bradford, England, before gaining a national scholarship in biology at the Royal College of Science, London, in 1903. From there he went to work with Professor A Dendy, FRS, at King's College, London, taking his Associate in Zoology in 1906. From 1907 until 1908 he worked as a Research Assistant at the School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, England, before travelling to California, United States, in 1908 to re-join his family who had moved there in 1906. He spent the first six months in California working at the Marine Biological Station, La Jolla, before enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley, where he gained his PhD in 1910 . He then returned to England, and from 1910 until 1914 was Kingsley Bye Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Beit Memorial Research Fellow, Quick Laboratory, Cambridge. He also spent the summer of 1911 at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. During his time at Cambridge he enrolled as an undergraduate in the Natural Science Tripos, graduating BA in 1912 and MA in 1917. From 1914 until 1919 he undertook War Service in England, France and Palestine, with the Royal Engineers Signals Service. In 1919, he married Irene Margaret Twist (d1933).
It was also in 1919 he became Professor of Biology and Parasitology at the School of Medicine, Cairo, Egypt. On returning to England in 1924, he became Milner Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. From 1925 until 1928 he served with the Royal Society's Kala-azar Commission in China, and from 1928 until 1933 he was Beit Research Fellow in Tropical Medicine at the Wellcome Bureau of Scientific Research, London. In 1929 , he was awarded the degree of DSc by the University of Cambridge. He was married again in 1936 to Ellen Mary Theodora Boyen (nee Schroeder) but the marriage was dissolved in 1951. In 1935 , he was appointed Regius Professor of Zoology at the University of Glasgow , Scotland, holding this post until 1944 , when he became Scientific Director at the Zoological Society of London, holding that post until 1951. He was active in editorial work from early in his career and was associated with Parasitology in various capacities, 1912-1968. He was disappointed after the Second World War by the failure of One World , a publication intended as an international review of the arts, sciences and letters, which he helped to launch but was abandoned for lack of financial support.
Hindle had a very eclectic research career which was governed by the diverse posts he occupied. G H F Nuttall in Cambridge established him in tropical medicine, and he carried out original work in protozoology and parasitology, especially insect-transmitted infections. He is also well known for the introduction of the golden hamster into the home and the laboratory. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1942 and created a Freeman of the City of London in 1945. Between 1936 and 1961 he held the following positions: Founder President of the Zoological Society of Glasgow (1936); General Secretary, British Association for the Advancement of Science (1946-1951); President, Section D, British Association (1947); Founder and First President, Institute of Biology (1951-1952); Honorary Secretary, Royal Geographical Association (1951-1961) (Honorary Vice-President, 1962); President, Zoology Section, International Union of Biological Sciences (1953). Professor Hindle remained active throughout his later years but died suddenly, whilst travelling in a taxi, on 22 January 1973 .