Born in New York City, he served in the United States Army during World War II. Married to Billye Louise Files (November 23, 1924 - January 30, 1977) of Jack County, Texas.
He joined the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1941 and went on to compose the music for many motion pictures. He was nominated (with Don Raye) for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song in 1942 for the song "Pig Foot Pete" from the movie Hellzapoppin
. The song actually was not included in that movie, but in the 1941 feature, Keep 'Em Flying
, and was thus ineligible for the nomination and award. The award was given to "White Christmas".
De Paul collaborated with Johnny Mercer, Don Raye
, Carolyn Leigh, Charles Rinker and others at Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios and other Hollywood companies.
De Paul composed the 1953 hit song "Teach Me Tonight".
De Paul was one of the composers of the songs and dances, along with lyricist Johnny Mercer, for the 1954 musical film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
for which he was nominated for the 1983 Tony Award for Best Original Score.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.
Gene de Paul died in 1988 and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.