Salter grew up in Georgiana and served as a private in the U.S. Army during World War II. He taught himself to paint in oil, watercolor and acrylic media. After retiring from Sears around 1980 he focused on his artwork full-time.
Salter worked from a home studio at 5617 10th Avenue South in Crestwood and exhibited as a member of the Birmingham Art Association, Vestavia Hills Art Association, and Mountain Brook Art Association. He was a frequent participant at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts and other public shows.