Martin Ellbogen grew up in Worland, Wyoming. In high school he played basketball against the future Wyoming Senator Al Simpson. Once Ellbogen determined his career was not in basketball, he came to the University of Wyoming to study pre-med and finished his medical degree in Omaha. Ellbogen then joined the Navy as a doctor. He shares memories of being a medical assistant on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. After his tour, Ellbogen moved to Casper to set up a general practice medical firm. He retired in 1996, and sold the practice to his son.