Eb was born April 21, 1927, in West Virginia to Betty Chilton and L. Ebersole Gaines Sr. 1916.
He attended Lawrenceville and served two years in the Navy before graduating in 1947. At Princeton he majored in sociology and was secretary of Cap and Gown. He roomed with George Nimick, Bob Poor, and T.R. Remington and later with Joe Werner, Pete Stroh, and Frank Bowan.
Early on he worked with the Plax Corp., Continental Can, Nationwide Papers, and Diversa-Graphics. Eb was active in the Idaho Republican Party and the Idaho Parks Foundation. In 1981, President Reagan appointed him vice president of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. Later President George H.W. Bush appointed him American consul general to Bermuda, where he served from 1989 to 1992.
Eb was a member of the Bohemian Club, Cypress Point, Seminole, Rolling Rock, Mid-Ocean, Chevy Chase, and The Links golf clubs.
He and Sheila Kellogg were married in 1956. She died in 1995, and Eb died March 15, 2012, in San Francisco. He is survived by their children, Eb III, Leith, Kelly, and Audrey; three grandchildren; his brothers, George ’51, Ludwell, and Stanley; niece Mary Gaines ’80; and nephew Ebersole Gaines Wehrle ’81. His sister Martha Wehrle predeceased him.