Ted Davis was born in New York City in 1908 and began his study of art at the Cooper Union Institute in the late 1920s. During the 1930s he was a student of John J. Newman. Following service in World War II, he used the GI Bill to study art in New York City. In the early 1950s he was a student of Hans Hoffman.
From 1948 to 1992 he maintained studios in Manhattan and Monhegan Island, Maine. His work was exhibited in: the Annual Exhibitions at the National Society of Painters in Casein, in which he won three awards including Patrons Prize (1957); the Twentieth Biennial International Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (1959); and the Twenty-Ninth Annual Midyear Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art (1964).