He was a nephew of Philip Livingston. Bob Livingston is Walter Livingston"s great-great-great-great-grandson. He served as Commissary of Stores and Provisions for the Department of New York from July 17, 1775, until September 7, 1776, when he resigned.
He was Deputy Commissary General of the Northern Department in 1775 and 1776.
In 1777, he was appointed a county judge for Albany County. He was a member from New York of the Continental Congress in 1784 and 1785.
In 1785, he was appointed Commissioner of the United States Treasury. He was buried at Trinity Churchyard in New New York
His home at Linlithgo in Columbia County, New York, known as Teviotdale, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
He was a delegate to the Provincial Convention held in New York in April and May 1775, and a member of the First New York Provincial Congress from May to November 1775. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1777 to 1779 and 1784-1785, and served as Speaker from 1777 to 1779. In 1784, he was a member of the New York and Massachusetts Boundary Commission.
He was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York from 1784 to 1787.
Children include Henry Walter.