Captain Alexander was born on 3 April 1909, at Des Plaines, Illinois, the son of Mr. Harry A. Alexander and Mrs. Ida M. (Morton) Alexander. He attended Maine Township High School, Des Plaines, Illinois, before his appointment to the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from his native state in 1926. While at the Academy he earned a star for academic rating during his fourth, second and third class years; served as lieutenant (Platoon Commander) during his first class year and participated on the plebe (1927) and varsity (1928, 1929 and 1930) swimming teams as a regular in backstroke, receiving class numerals, "NA", and "N" awards. Graduated, twelfth in his class and commissioned Ensign on 5 June 1930, he advanced progressively through the various grades to that of Captain. He served in the temporary rank of Captain from December 1945 to January 1948 and from 21 March 1949. He held the permanent rank of Captain with date of 1 July 1948.
Following graduation from the Academy in 1930, Captain Alexander was assigned to USS Tennessee for two years, and during this time attended a short course at the Optical School, Naval Shipyard, Mare Island, California. In 1932, he was selected for postgraduate instruction in Naval Construction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Upon completion of the course there in 1935, he received his Master of Science degree and was commissioned an Assistant Naval Constructor with rank of Ensign, Construction Corps, United States Navy. After completing another short course at the Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, he was ordered in 1935, to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, and served as Assistant Hull Superintendent for new construction in connection with the building of the destroyers Cushing, Perkins, Patterson, Jarvis and Wilson. He remained at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard until 11 May 1938 as Assistant Planning Officer (Repairs) and later as Senior Assistant Planning Officer (New Construction, Hull).
From 1938 until February 1940, Captain Alexander was assigned to the US Naval Station, Olongapo, Philippine Islands, as Drydock Officer in Charge of docking and repairs of ships and maintenance and operation of the Floating Drydock Dewey. While in this capacity he received Commendations from the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet; the Commandant Sixteenth Naval District; the Commanding General, Headquarters, Philippine Department, US Army; and the Captain of the Yard of that Station. In February 1940, he was transferred to the Naval Shipyard, Cavite, Philippine Islands, and assigned the duties of Hull Superintendent, sailing in April of that year to Rangoon, Burma and Bangkok, Thailand for temporary duty in connection with the inspection of teakwood under procurement for the US Navy.
Returning to the Naval Shipyard, Cavite, in June 1940, Captain Alexander assumed the job of Assistant Planning Officer and Design Superintendent, transferring the same month to the Line of the US Navy and being designated for engineering duty only. He served at Cavite until September 1940, when he was detached and ordered to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, reporting the following month for duty as Assistant Shop Superintendent. In February 1941, he was assigned as Ship Superintendent and Assistant Planning Officer (Hull and Aeronautics) in connection with the conversion of USS Pocomoke and from April 1941 to August 1942 served as Assistant Planning Officer for new construction, repairs and alterations to transports, destroyers and aircraft carriers. His last assignment, before leaving the Norfolk Yard in October 1942, was Assistant Hull Superintendent.
From October 1942 to December 1944, Captain Alexander served as Assistant Supervisor in the Office of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Wilmington, Delaware. During December 1942 and January 1943, he served as Acting Supervisor of Shipbuilding and in May was ordered as Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Naval Inspector of Ordnance. These duties included cognizance of construction of over four hundred and fifty steel and wood hull vessels and craft at the Dravo Corporation and the American Car and Foundry Company, both of which were awarded the Army-Navy "E" with four stars; and the administration of shipbuilding contracts valued at over $100,000,000 and facilities provided by the Government at a cost of approximately $13,600,000. For outstanding performance of duty during this tour of duty he was commended by the Chief of the Bureau of Ships.
In October 1944, Captain Alexander was on duty in the Fleet Maintenance Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and in February 1946, assumed additional duty in connection with ship construction, maintenance and repairs in the Logistic Plans Division of that Bureau. He transferred to the Bureau of Ships, Navy Department, in November 1946, having duty as Assistant to the Director, Ship Technical Branch for alteration and material planning. He remained in that assignment until March 1948, when he was ordered to duty as Material Officer, Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, Astoria, Oregon, where he was the staff officer responsible for policies and procedures governing the maintenance, preservation and periodic overhaul and dry-docking of over four hundred inactive landing, patrol, auxiliary and service craft. In August 1950, he reported to the Industrial College of the Armed Forces for the Economic Mobilization Course.
Upon graduation in June 1951, he was ordered to the Staff and Faculty where he was assigned for one year as an instructor in the Economic Potential Branch and then as Chief, Special Staff, with detachment in April 1953.
From June 1953 to September 1955, he was attached to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard as Planning Officer for twenty-one months and Production Officer for seven months. On 31 October 1955 he assumed duty as Supervisor of Shipbuilding, USN, and Naval Inspector of Ordnance, Bath, Maine.
Captain Alexander had the American Defense Service Medal, Base Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
Captain Alexander was a member of the Army-Navy Country Club, Washington, DC, the American Society of Naval Engineers, US Naval Institute and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.