He was educated at the City of London School.
He was professor of chemistry in Presidency College, then affiliated with the University of Calcutta where his lectures in the FA course first attracted Prafulla Chandra Ray to study chemistry. He later became principal of Presidency College four times from 1887, 1887-1889, again in 1889 and from 1896-1897. In 1901 he was Director of Public Instruction in Bengal, and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in November 1901.
Later he was also vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta from 1904 to 1906. The Alexander Pedler Lecture is given annually under the auspices of the British Association in memory of his name.
He died while attending a Committee meeting at the Ministry of Munitions on 13 May 1918.
- "Prafulla Chandra – A Tribute to the Master" (PDF). Animesh Chakravorty, Sreebrata Goswami, Samaresh Bhattacharya.
- "No. 27374". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 November 1901. p. 7288.
- "Fellow details". Royal Society. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Lecture, Alexander Pedler. "Alexander Pedler Lecture delivered by Prof. Allan Ferguson". Nature 145, 508-508 (30 March 1940) | doi:10.1038/145508d0.
- Pedler, F.R.S, Sir Alexander. "Death of Sir Alexander Pedler, F.R.S". Nature 101, 227-228 (23 May 1918) | doi:10.1038/101227b0.