William Herbert Lowry was born in Acton, Ontario, as the son of a physician. He graduated from Trinity University, Toronto, in 1901 and completed his postgraduate training in ophthalmology in London and Birmingham, England .
Lowry returned to Toronto in 1906 and became staff at the Hospital for Sick Children. In 1929 he was appointed the third Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto.
During the First World War, Lowry served in England and Greece as an ophthalmologist in charge of No 4 Canadian Base Hospital and was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
Lowry was a dedicated surgeon and teacher to undergraduate students. He did not do much research but did publish an article on eye injuries in 1930 . Lowry retired as Chair of the department in 1941 for health reasons and died in 1942 of a heart attack while visiting a patient at home.