Ben Oda served in the United States military as a paratrooper and spy, and was also played baseball part-time.
Ben Oda lettered some of the early works of Jack Kirby. His work appeared in the EC Comics war comics of the 1950's. He also worked for the Chicago Tribune and King Features Syndicate, and eventually for DC Comics. He has been described by Andrew Helfer as the letterer who people turned to when a deadline would be hard to meet.
A eulogy for Ben Oda, written by Andrew Helfer, appeared in the "Guest Meanwhile..." column in DC comics dated June 1985.