Ells Laflin was born in Chicago in 1898. He spent a large part of his youth and later life in Lake Forest, in the family country place, Ellslloyd (Hawthorne Place). His parents were Josephine Knowland Laflin and Louis Ellsworth Laflin Sr. Namely, Ells graduated from Lawrenceville Preparatory School in 1918, and from Princeton in 1924. He received from Yale an M.A. in 1938 and a Ph.D. in 1941 in areas of drama, religion, and Egyptology. He even spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago, Oriental Institute studying hieroglyphics.
His major work was the writing of at least seventy-seven full-length plays, of which seventeen were produced, and forty one-act plays, of which thirty-three were produced, mostly at schools and colleges. He also lectured on drama at Rollins College, FL, and at Lake Forest College, as he ran the drama department in the 1950s. Mostly, Laflin traveled and wrote many plays that were performed locally by the theatre group of PlayReaders.