Born in Sweden, Persson served in the Canadian Army during World War I. Stationed in northern England, he began making watercolor sketches of the hilly countryside and found a local market for the paintings. After the War, Persson immigrated to the United States and studied at the Art Students League. He painted for a time in Providence, Rhode Island and then in Florida. He moved to Los Angeles about 1930 and painted landscape views in various locations around the Southwest including the Mohave Desert, Grand Canyon, and Zion. Persson was a dedicated realist and charter member of the Society for Sanity in Art, as well as member of the Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles, and Academy of Western Painters.