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Edmund Hamilton grew up fascinated by science and the future. He was gifted with the ability to advance the designs of existing technology. He quickly rose through the the U.S. Air Force and promoted to NASA's Future Planning Section.
A freak electrical accident gave Hamilton the ability to glimpse the future: albeit briefly. He constructed a helmet and battle suit and adapted them to futuristic specifications. Edmund Hamilton now, calling himself Colonel Future, set out to correct these future events.
Colonel Future came into contact with Superman, and discovered these events were Superman's making. Hamilton retired until he could better learn to control his precognitive powers.
Hamilton received another glimpse of Superman's apparent death. Colonel Future came back into action, only to retire once Superman proved that Colonel Future's glimpse of Superman's death was misinterpreted.
There was also a Colonel Future on Earth-2. he came into conflict with Clark Kent, who was editor of The Daily Star. He did not have the same powers as his Earth-1 counterpart, being more a mad genius bent on world domination, with a mania for doing things in a "modern" way and a criminal gang to act out his diabolical plans.