Born in 1898 in Stanford, Connecticut, Collins was educated in the public high school in Wallingford and at Choate School in Wallingford, graduating in 1918. He attended Yale College and graduated in 1923 with a BA degree. He is also a graduate of the School of Banking, Rutgers University, receiving his Certificate of Banking in 1948.
Known as Collie, he played for Yale varsity in 1921, 1922, and 1923 and was elected captain of the team in his senior year. He was honorable mention All-American 1923 and played for the Crescent Athletic Club lacrosse team in 1925 and 1926. Collie helped coach the Yale freshmen in 1923 and from 1923 to 1933 was an official high school and freshman referee in New Haven, Stanford and White Plains. In 1955, he became the donor of the Collins Bowl for the outstanding player of the year on the Yale lacrosse team. Also, he has been responsible for having adequate newspaper coverage for Yale lacrosse games by providing publicity for the games throughout the state of Connecticut.
His business experience includes Clinton Gilbert & Co., New York City, Investments, 1925 to 1940; U.S. Marine Corps, 1941 -1946; vice president Guaranty Fund, Hartford, 1946 to 1947; vice president of the New Haven Savings Bank, New Haven, 1947 to 1963. Since 1963, he has been connected with Blyth & Co., Investments in New York City.
His military service includes sniper - 1st Battalion Fighting 69th New York 1917-1919, participating in five engagements and colonel in Word War II, USO Marine Corps. His decorations include the Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star and Purple Heart. He retired in 1958 as a full colonel.