Earle C. Bastow was born in Petersburg, New York. He graduated from Albany Law School and was admitted to practice on November 22, 1921. He became employed by the law firm of Lee & Dowling in Utica New York where he worked until his appointment as an Assistant District Attorney in 1932. He was elected District Attorney of Oneida County in 1942. In 1947 he was elected to a fourteen year term as Supreme Court Justice of the Fifth Judicial District and was appointed to the Appellate Division First Department by Governor Thomas E. Dewey in 1953. Governor Averill Harriman appointed Justice Bastow to the Appellate Division Fourth Department where he served as an Associate Justice until May, 1968 when he was appointed as Presiding Justice. As an Associate Justice, he continued to assist the Appellate Division, First Department by sitting on that Court between terms of the Appellate Division Fourth Department. Justice Bastow relinquished the position of Presiding Justice at the end of 1968, having reached the age of 70 but was certified as a retired Supreme Court Justice and re-designated for a term of two years to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. He retired from the bench on December 31, 1970.