Editor and Art Director of the Kansas City Times from 1917 to 1927 and then a studio and newspaper artist in California, Walter Bailey was born in Wallula, Kansas. He also became a noted muralist and landscape painter. Two of his murals are at the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, four murals are in the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, and another in East High School, Kansas City.
Bailey studied at the Kansas City Art Institute with Thomas Hart Benton, Charles Wilimovsky, and Randall Davey.
In the 1940s, he worked as a scenic and motion picture artist in Hollywood, and from 1950 to 1967 was Art Editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. In 1927 to 1929, he taught a Master Class in Taos, New Mexico, and in 1932-1934, he taught a Master Class in landscape painting at the Kansas City Art Institute.