Fowler was the eldest son of Frances Howard Fowler and Eve. He followed secondary education in Horris Hill and Winchester College. He won a scholarship to Trinity College of the University of Cambridge where he studied mathematics from 1908 to 1915. During the first world war , he was as a naval artillery officer in the Dardanelles Campaign seriously injured his shoulder. As a result, he was seconded in a Research Institute of the Navy where he worked on the aerodynamics of artillery guns. In 1918 for his war efforts, he was honored with the order of the British Empire.
From 1920 he taught mathematics at Trinity College. He worked together with Edward Arthur Milne and Paul Dirac in the field of Astrophysics, the static mechanics and thermodynamics. In 1932 he obtained the Chair of theoretical physics at the Cavendish laboratory. Among his students were Nevill Mott, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Homi Jehangir Bhabha and John Lennard-Jones. After the outbreak of the Second World War he again did military research and was the liaison with the United States.
In 1921 he entered marriage with Eileen Rutherford (1901-1930), the only daughter of Nobel Prize laureate Ernest Rutherford. The couple had four children. Eileen died after the birth of their last child. Daughter Ruth was married to the ivf pioneer Robert Edwards. From 1925 Fowler was a member of the Royal Society, which awarded him the Royal Medal in 1936. In 1942, the Fowler.