Henry Ogden Avery was born January 31, 1852 in Brooklyn. After studying at the Cooper Union (1870-1871), then in the office of Russell Stugis, he went to France in 1872 to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
He returned to New York and worked in the office of Richard Morris Hunt where he assisted in the design of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, until starting his own practice in 1883. He competed in the competition for the design of Grant’s Tomb and designed private residences. He passed away at the age of 38 on April 30, 1890.
The Avery Library at Columbia University was founded by his parents, Samuel Putnam and Mary Ogden Avery, in 1890 in his memory.