Edward James Corbett was born 25th July 1875 of English ancestry in Nainital districts of Uttarakhand. He grew up spending much of his childhood exploring the wilderness that exists around. Jim Corbett lived his life amidst dense jungle and developed a deep knowledge of the way. Sir Jim Corbett spent his major part of his life at Gurney House (located in Nainital) with his large family, his mother Mary Jane Corbett and his sister Margaret Winfred Corbett, fondly called Maggie. His father, who was postmaster in Nainital died when Jim Corbett was four. The whole responsibility fell to Corbett's mother to raise and educate 12 children on a widow's meager pension. Soon after an early age Jim Corbett has to face with the responsibility of supporting his family of six members so he took up a job with the railways.
Over the years he became a good hunter as well as wonderful naturalist. He was blessed with the excellent observation, fleet- footed and great stamina. He was so intelligent and active that he could read the signs of the forest and movement of wildlife as put all senses on (sight, hearing and smelling) while moving in the forests. He has a record of killing 20 tigers and 15 leopards.
He was also a pioneer conservationist and played a key role in the establishment of present Jim Corbett National Park. He led a confirmed bachelor life and remained an active member of many wildlife preservation organizations and helped in conserving these natural resources.