Charles Walter Simpson was born in Montréal, Québec, in 1878. He studied at the Art Association of Montréal under William Brymer, Edmond Dyonnet, and Maurice Cullen.
He worked as a newspaper illustrator for the Montréal Star from 1899-1901. Then in Nova Scotia with the Halifax Chronicle from 1902-3.
He returned to Montréal, and worked as a commercial artist for somet time.
He enrolled at the Art Students League, in New York, under G B Bridgman and W A Clark emerging as a successful painter. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1920.
He often painted marine subjects
Simpson was one of the Canada's first official war artists during the first World War. In 1918, he contributed to the Canadian War Memorials.
During the mid 1920's, Simpson completed murals at the Art Association of Montréal. During this time he also continued working as an illustrator for a number of books.
His works are part of teh collection at The National Gallery of Canada, among others.
He died in 1942.