Orrin Draver was born in Alliance, Nebraska in 1895, and moved with his family to Winchester, Indiana, then to Richmond, as a boy. At age 16, he was drawing cartoons on his father’s office walls, changing them weekly, and receiving praise for his talent.
He worked in his father's milling machine business until 1932, when his father died. He sold the company and thereafter devoted himself entirely to painting. His Chicago, Illinois dealer was J. W. Young.