Brunhouse obtained his bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in 1930, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1936 and 1940, respectively.
Brunhouse began his academic career in history at Dickinson College in 1935, and moved to the University of Pennsylvania later that year, to Elizabethtown College in 1940, Drew University from 1942 to 1968, and the University of South Alabama from 1968 to 1978, eventually attaining the rank of full professor.
His first credited book, Counter-Revolution in Pennsylvania: 1776-1790, was published in 1942 by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, and was followed by eight other works on history and civilization.
Five of his books focused on Mayan history and culture, including In Search of the Maya: The First Archaeologists, published by University of New Mexico Press in 1973.
Brunhouse’s real first book, Miniatures of Mechanicsburg, published anonymously in 1928 by J. A. Bushman Co., was reissued in 1986 by the Mechanicsburg Museum Association, this time with his now better-known byline attached.