Ezra was a business tycoon, and owner and financier of the Cliff's Edge Hotel on The Island. With the help of other investors and Vault-Tec Corporation, he started the construction of the Vault 118 beneath his hotel on Mount Desert Island, the intention of the vault was to analyze the clash between high wealth residents and working class residents in a controlled environment. But after the premier wing of the Vault was built, Ezra stopped sending money to the Vault construction, which was quickly halted. After a discussion with the vault's overseer, Ezra said he was still waiting for Julianna Riggs to transfer the funds, where in the reality Ezra was embezzling said money.
The premier wing of the vault was ready when the bombs hit, so Ezra, Julianna, and other premier guests in the Hotel were admitted inside the vault, complete with their cars, luggage, and pets. One of the Vault dwellers, Bert Riggs, was a robobrain developer, so he decided that the best way to keep the population thriving was to turn into robobrains, an idea that all dwellers accepted including Ezra. The only way to identify each dweller from another was a small accessory that they always wore, like a bow tie or hat. After some investigation Julianna found out Ezra's plan, and after a big discussion at the Vault's atrium, Ezra killed Julianna and took her identity.