Ray Burnley, brother of Jack Burnley, was an aspiring fine artist who found more success as a cartoonist. He began by inking backgrounds for his brother in the 1930s. Throughout the 1940s he assisted his brother on titles such as Batman, Starman and Superman.
Ray served in the U.S. Army during WWII, following which he took a job as a defense department draftsman. Eventually he returned to comics, where he was best known for his work as Curt Swan's inker on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen.