Earle Travis Onque was born on October 30, 1930, in St. Paul, MN to Earle and Alice Onque. He graduated from Bates College in 1952 with a degree in biology. He received a professional degree in Architecture from Carnegie Institute of technology (CMU) in 1957. Earle was one of the first minorities in the United States to be both a registered architect and certified planner. Earle was the head of Model Cities, the principal partner in an architectural firm, a faculty member of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, a member of the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, and National Association of Housing and Redevelopment, among many other accomplishments. Once he retired, Earle enjoyed traveling and water color painting.