Howard Wexler was born and raised in New York City on Grand and Lewis Streets in a tenement on the Lower East Side. He played punch ball and stickball on the streets and basketball at Seward Park High School on Essex Street. He has worked since he was 11 years old.

Traveling by train to Harlem and attending night school at CCNY, he received a bachelor’s and a masters degree in education and educational psychology. He worked as a social worker, schoolteacher, and school psychologist. In 1970 he received a Ph.D. from Fordham University in educational psychology.

Today there is the Howard Wexler Scholarship Fund at CCNY.