Among the pseudonyms he used were Owen Fox Jerome and Ford Smith. As an editor he used the pen name of Sergeant Saturn.
He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and married Irene Ozment in 1917.
Friend moved to Los Angeles at the request of Walt Disney Productions, and then worked for some time as a scriptwriter for films at Universal Studios before returning to New York. He wrote several episodes of the television series The Saint and also wrote for The Twilight Zone.
His most famous SF novel is probably The Kid From Mars (1948), a story Disney was interested in making into a movie.
He was co-editor of several SF anthologies, all with his friend Leo Margulies: From Off This World (1949), My Best Science Fiction Story (1949), Giant Anthology of Science Fiction (1954), and Race to the Stars (1958).