Walter Landauer was born in Mannheim, Germany, on 15 July 1896 the son of S. Friedrich and Charlotte Ziegler Landauer. He attended the University of Frankfurt and received his doctorate from the University of Heidelberg in 1922. He held the position of Zoology Instructor from 1922-1924 at Heidelberg before accepting a position at the University of Connecticut in 1924 at the Experiment Station. From 1928 until his retirement in 1964, Landauer was a professor in the department of animal genetics. Landauer is known for his work in animal genetics, specifically chickens.