Eugene F. (Gene) Karst was born in St. Louis on 25 June 1906, the son of Louis Gerard and Eliza Guignon Karst. He won his A.B. from Saint Louis University in 1928. In 1950 he married Meris Sparrow. The couple has five daughters.
Karst started his career as a reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in 1924, returning to St. Louis, and in 1931 he became the first full-time publicity director of a major league baseball club, the St. Louis Cardinals. He held this position for three years, initiating many of the information and publicity practices used in baseball. From 1934 to 1936 he was publicity director for the Cincinnati Reds.
After a year of world travel he settled down to work in advertising in San Francisco in 1938. In 1940 he began a 2-year stint as publicity and traveling director of the Montreal Baseball Club, leaving to become a radio news writer for the Office of War Information (OWI). He worked as an editor for the OWI in San Francisco and New York between 1942 and 1946, finally becoming Far East editor for the wireless file of the United States State Department in 1946 and editor of the European regional file in 1948.
Karst served as press attache and information officer at the embassies in Manila (1949-1950) and Buenos Aires (1950-1952). Between 1952 and 1953 he was with the field planning service of the information program of the State Department. He then had assignments with the Voice of America and as publicity director of the Hollywood, California Baseball Club.
In 1955 he took up a posting as public affairs officer in San Salvador, later becoming deputy public affairs officer in Rio de Janeiro (1960-1962). In 1962 he was named chief of the Latin American division of the Voice of America. By 1968 he was public affairs officer in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Karst was awarded the bronze medal of the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee in 1959. He contributed many articles to magazines and newspapers, especially after his retirement. In 2001, Karst was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. He died on April 6, 2004, at age 97 in Ladue, Missouri.