The son of Wallace P. and Martha Putnam Perry was born on June 20, 1895, in Danvers, Massachusetts. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1916. In the next three years, some sources indicated he was in the military (World War I). In 1919 he joined Coopers & Lybrand as a staff accountant. He was made a partner in 1929 and a general partner in 1934, the position he held at his death (1957). He was certified as a CPA in Massachusetts early in his career.
He was active in professional organizations, serving as president of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (1932-33) and chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Registration. He served as vice president of the AAA (1955) and the AICPA (1956-57). He also served the AICPA as a member of its Council, Executive Committee and chairman of the Board of Examiners and the Commission on Standards of Education and Experience for CPAs (1952-56), whose creation he recommended. Other professional and educational affiliations included membership in NAA, Institute of Internal Auditors, National Bureau of Economic Research, New York State Society of CPAs, and Phi Beta Kappa.
He wrote numerous articles for professional journals. During the academic year 1954-55 he was the Dickinson Lecturer at Harvard. In 1956 he received the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Accounting Award and in 1957 he was awarded posthumously the AICPA's Gold Medal Award.
He was active in community services in Boston and West Newton, Massachusetts, serving in such capacities as a director of United Community Services in Boston; trustee, treasurer and vice president of Newton-Wellesley Hospital; and trustee of Andover Newton Theological School and Newton Savings Bank.
Following the death of his first wife, Dorothea Gifford, he married Louise Gifford. He had a daughter, Dorothea Gifford Meade, by his first wife and a son, Donald Gifford Perry, by his second wife. In his leisure time he enjoyed color photography, hi-fi music, tennis, squash, and growing flowers. He died April 29, 1957 at the age of 61.