Benjamin Applegate Furman was born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 18, 1883, the son of John Applegate Furman and Emma Conover Ayres. He had four siblings: Edna, Robert, Edith, and John, Jr. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1906, he earned a medical degree from Columbia University in 1910. He worked for Presbyterian Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, from 1914-1963, and concurrently owned a private practice. Furman joined the United States Army before August 1917, served as a surgeon with the 407th Telegraph Battalion and the 2nd Evacuation Hospital in France between August 1917 and April 1919, and was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant. On September 27, 1919, he married Helen Mary Pryor; they had two sons, John Pryor and Robert Ayres. Benjamin A. Furman died on June 22, 1967.