Emily Kimbrough was born in Muncie, Indiana on October 23, 1899. In 1921 she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and went on a trip to Europe with her friend Cornelia Otis Skinner. The two friends co-authored the memoir Our Hearts Were Young and Gay based on their European adventures. The success of the book as a New York Times best seller led to Kimbrough and Skinner going to Hollywood to work on a script for the movie version. Kimbrough wrote about the experience in We Followed Our Hearts to Hollywood.
Kimbrough's journalistic career included an editor post at Fashions of the Hour, managing editorship at the Ladies Home Journal and a host of articles in Country Life, House & Garden, Travel, Reader's Digest, Saturday Review of Literature, and Parents magazines.
Kimbrough's Through Charley's Door (published 1952) is an autobiographical narrative of her experiences in Marshall Field's Advertising Bureau. Hired in November 1923 as the researcher and writer for the department store's quarterly catalog, Fashions of the Hour, Kimbrough was later promoted to editor of the publication. In 1926, she was recruited by Barton Curry with Ladies' Home Journal, and left Marshall Field's to become Ladies' Home Journal's fashion editor.
- Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (with Cornelia Otis Skinner, 1942)
- We Followed Our Hearts to Hollywood (1943)
- How Dear to My Heart (1944)
- It Gives Me Great Pleasure (1948)
- The Innocents from Indiana (1950)
- Through Charley's Door (1952)
- Forty Plus and Fancy Free (1954)
- So Near and Yet So Far (1955)
- Water, Water, Everywhere (1956)
- And a Right Good Crew (1958)
- Pleasure by the Busload (1961)
- Forever Old, Forever New (1964)
- Floating Island (1968)
- Now and Then (1972)
- Time Enough (1974)
- Better than Oceans (1976)