He was born in Kiel, the son of a criminal investigation officer. From 1913 he was a cadet in Karlsruhe and Berlin-Lichterfelde; starting in 1919, he joined the Freikorps ("Free-Corps") in the Baltic, where he fought against the Bolsheviks. Later he fought against Polish insurgents in Upper Silesia.
He received a five year prison sentence in 1922 for his part in the assassination of Walther Rathenau – he provided a car for the assassins. In 1927, he received another prison sentence for an attempted feme murder (paramilitary "self-justice"), and was released after a few months – he had not killed the severely wounded victim, Wagner, when he pleaded for his life, which was noted by the court.
After 1933, Salomon said, he did not support Nazism. He earned his living by writing film scripts. His wife, Ille Gotthelft, was Jewish but was protected due to his support. In his autobiography The Answers of Ernst von Salomon he described how both were mistreated by American soldiers when they were arrested, and called "Nazi swine."
Salomon was imprisoned by the Americans as POW from 1945–1946. The 1940 colonial film Carl Peters, which Salomon wrote the screenplay for, was forbidden by British occupation authorities, because of allegedly being "anti-English".
In 1951 he published the book Der Fragebogen ("The Questionnaire"), in which he gave his rather ironic answers to the 131 point questionnaire concerning their activities under Nazism. A famous public discussion of the book took place in the main train station of Cologne, organised by bookseller Gerhard Ludwig.
Salomon died in Stoeckte near Winsen.
(Note: this bibliography is incomplete.)