Edvard Rusjan was born in Trieste then the major port of Austria-Hungary (now in Italy). His parents were both natives from the Gorizia and Gradisca region: his father, Franc Rusjan, was a Slovene, and his mother, Grazia Cabas, was Friulan. Rusjan spent his childhood and adolescence in Gorizia, in the suburb of Rafut.
In his youth, he became a professional bicyclist, and designed his own bicycle models, together with his brother Josip Rusjan. He was also member of the Sokol gymnastic association.
He made his first flight on 25 November 1909, near Gorizia, in Eda I, a biplane of his own design. The height of the flight was 2 m (6 ft 7 in), whereas the distance was 60 m (200 ft). On 29 November 1909, he flew at the altitude of 12 m (39 ft) and 600 m (2,000 ft) far. The original design was followed by several improved versions. He moved to a hangar near Miren south of Gorizia.
Rusjan first attended a public flight event with the model EDA V on 6 December 1909, when his aircraft broke apart at landing. In June 1910, he tried the model EDA V, which enabled him to fly 40 meters above the ground and overfly the whole Miren Field.
The brothers Rusjan ran out of finance for the construction of EDA VII. In 1910, Edvard Rusjan met the Croatian businessman Mihajlo Merćep, who offered him financial help for his endeavors. The same year, the brothers Rusjan moved to Zagreb, Croatia, when they started a project of airplane construction on larger scale. In November 1910, they constructed a new model.
In January 1911, Edvard and Josip Rusjan went on a promotional tour through the Balkan cities. On 9 January 1911, during a flight in Belgrade, Serbia, a strong wind broke a wing of Edvard's aeroplane and it dived into a railway embankment near the Belgrade Fortress in a fatal crash. His funeral was attended by a large crowd of about 14,000 people.
He is buried at the New Cemetery, lot 15, grave 343.