He graduated from Morgan State University in 1953 and after two years in the Army he settled in California. There he started to gain attention leading a band with Andrew Hill and Andrew Cyrille, but it was his later time in New York City that earned him full notice. For the Prestige label he recorded four albums. In 1962 Down Beat named him the best new artist.
From 1965 to 1975 he took a break from jazz, but later he worked again with Andrew Hill and Sun Ra. After 1975 he recorded several albums for the Danish Steeplechase label.
|1961||This is Walt Dickerson!||Austin Crowe (piano), Bob Lewis (bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums)||Prestige|
|1961||A Sense of Direction||Austin Crowe (p), Edgar Bateman (b), Eustis Guillemet, Jr. (d)||Prestige|
|1962||Relativity||Austin Crowe (p), Andrew Cyrille (d), Ahmed Abdul-Malik (b)||Prestige|
|1962||To My Queen||Andrew Hill (p), George Tucker (b), Andrew Cyrille (d)||New Jazz|
|1963||Jazz Impressions of Lawrence of Arabia||Austin Crowe (p), Henry Grimes (b), Ahmed Abdul-Malik (b), Andrew Cyrille (d)||Dauntless|
|1966||Impressions of a Patch of Blue||Sun Ra (p,h,c), Bob Cunningham (b), Roger Blank (d)||Verve|
With Sun Ra
- Visions (1978)
With Elmo Hope
- Sounds from Rikers Island (1963) - arranger
- Allmusic biography
- "Jazz News: Vibes for Walt: Walt Dickerson, R.I.P.". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2008-05-18.