He earned his PhD in 1905 from Harvard under the direction of Maxime Bôcher. Ford was a mathematics professor at the University of Michigan and played a significant role in mathematics education in the US by writing a series of textbooks that were widely used in secondary schools. He served as president of the Mathematical Association of America in 1927–1928.
- Newsom, C. V. (1971), "Walter Burton Ford", The American Mathematical Monthly, 78: 1094–1097, doi:10.2307/2316311, ISSN 0002-9890, JSTOR 2316311, 0294078
- Walter Burton Ford at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Walter Burton Ford Mathematical Association of America