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Edward Ashford was one of the founders of the Progenitor Virus and the Umbrella Corporation. Ashford was a consummate scientific mind, possessing none of the overzealous ambitions for power and wealth that his co-founder, Ozwell E. Spencer, was so driven to achieve. Edward's only interest was the study and research of the Progenitor Virus, intending to utilise its restorative effects to create medical and scientific achievements that were previously impossible for the medical community. However, Ashford died in 1968, possibly sparing him the wrath of the treacherous Spencer, who had his remaining co-founder, James Marcus, assassinated to bolster his position within the Umbrella Corporation. It is believed that Edward was accidentally killed by his son Alexander Ashford, allowing Spencer to take over Umbrella sooner, and denying the Ashford family the benefits of their contribution to the company. Edward Ashford's desire to see Umbrella develop new ways to benefit humanity would never come to pass. The Progenitor Virus would eventually lead to the horrors of the T-Virus, and Ashford's own grandchildren, Alfred and Alexia, would visit their own terrors upon humanity. Edward's only physical appearance in any of the Resident Evil games is that of a portrait in Resident Evil: Code Veronica that shows him as an elderly man.

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