Edward Cucuel was born as the son of a newspaper publisher in San Francisco. Already at the age of 14 he attended the local academy of arts. Still a teenager he was employed as an illustrator by the newspaper "The Examiner". When the 17-year-old Cucuel was sent to Paris, he entered the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi. Then he went to Jean Léon Gérôme at the Académie des Beaux Arts.
In 1896 Edward Cucuel returned to the USA and settled in New York. After half a year, when he worked again as a newspaper illustrator, Cucuel went back to Paris to devote himself to art. He spent two years there, and then travelled through France and Italy to study the old masters. In Germany, Edward Cucuel went to Berlin, where he mainly worked as an illustrator. In 1907 Cucuel moved to Munich, the city that should become his home for a long time. There, he joined the artists' group "Scholle", which was dominated by the outstanding artistic figure Leo Putz. The group took care of him in artistic matters.
Furthermore Edward Cucuel took part in the exhibitions of the Secession in Munich. In 1912 the artist successfully exhibited some of his works in Paris. His paintings resemble the French impressionists as to colour and motives. His favourite motives are portraits of women and nudes in bright interiors, Plein-air-representations with social scenes and charming Bavarian landscapes.
From 1914 to 1918 Edward Cucuel lived in Holzhausen at the Ammersee and later put up studios in Munich and Starnberg. Since 1928 he spent his summers there and regularly lived in New York during the winter until 1934. Because of the beginning of Word War II Edward Cucuel finally left Germany in 1939. He settled in the Californian town Pasadena, where he led a secluded life until his death in 1954.