Frank Roper was born 12 December 1914 in Haworth, Yorkshire. He studied at Keighley Art School (meeting his future wife, Nora Ellison) and the Royal College of Art, London, where he was a student of Henry Moore. In 1947 he became a sculpture lecturer at Cardiff College of Art, later vice principal, remaining there until he retired in 1973. He lived in Penarth and created his own foundry on the ground floor of his house where he made his metal sculptures.
Many of Roper's early commissions stemmed from the need to repair places of worship after they had suffered bomb damage during World War II. His major commissions included work on Llandaff Cathedral,Durham Cathedral, St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire and Peterborough Cathedral. He created a wall-mounted "Stations of the Cross" (1959) for St Martin's in Roath, "Crucifixion with Mary and John" (1965) outside St German's Church, Adamsdown, Cardiff and an aluminium reredos screen (1968) for St Martin le Grand, York. Roper also created engraved and stained glass, for example at St Peter's Church, Chippenham.