Born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, Edwin Fulwider attended the John Herron Art School in Indianapolis, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He was awarded a scholarship for travel and study in the eastern United States, which he used to visit the principal schools, museums, and private art collections. In 1933, Fulwider spent time with Thomas Hart Benton when Benton was working on the large Indiana Mural for the Chicago World's Fair. According to the artist, "I was influenced by Benton's work, more in approach and choice of subject matter than in actual style and techniques. I greatly admired his fantastic and heroic spirit…He was a mentor of many of my generation and I am glad I could have known his work and could have met him at that time in my life." Fulwider was awarded the Milliken Traveling Fellowship in 1936 for travel and study abroad. The following year he visited England, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Italy. In 1939, Peyton Boswell included Fulwider in his lavishly illustrated book, Modern American Painters, which singled out the most noteworthy painters of the period. That same year, Fulwider was invited to exhibit at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, and his painting, titled Dead Head, was reproduced in Life magazine on February 13, 1939.
Fulwider was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. He exhibited his work in the annual exhibitions of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Dayton Art Museum, John Herron Art Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Fulwider was also invited to exhibit in the annuals of the Northwest Painters held at the Seattle Art Museum. He held a number of teaching positions during his career. His longest tenure was as Professor of Art at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. During World War II Fulwider was a supervisor of technical publications at Wright-Patterson Field in Dayton, Ohio. He lived for many years in Lakeview, Idaho, painting the industries, landscapes, and activities of Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
Fulwider's work is included in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Dayton Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Butler Art Institute, Miami University, Indiana University, and the Library of Congress. Corporate collections include Ford Motor Company, Sunshine Mining Company, Kellogg, Idaho; Headquarters, Albertson Grocery chain, Boise, Idaho; and the Morrison-Knudsen Corporation, Boise, Idaho.