Mar. 20, 1900 Baltimore Baltimore City Maryland, USA
Sep. 15, 1979 Princeton Mercer County New Jersey, USA
Hamilton Cottier was born Hamilton Kelso in Baltimore, Maryland in 1900 to John Russell Kelso IV and Blanche Busey Kelso. His parents divorced when he was around two years of age at which point Hamilton went with his mother to live in New York City with her parents. Blanche married again in 1905 to Alonzo Cottier who adopted young Hamilton.
Graduating from Princeton University in 1922 Hamilton was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford. In addition to his undergraduate he also received his master's degree from Princeton becoming professor of English at the university a position he held for decades eventually being made a dean.
In 1923 he married the future well known novelist Anya Seton, the daughter of naturalist and co-founder of Boy Scouts of America Ernest Thompson Seton, with whom he had two children Seton and Pamela. In 1938, eight years after the end of his first marriage, Hamilton wed Janet Frantz to whom he was married for 40 years.