Blatter was born in Visp in the Swiss canton of Valais with the given name of Josef.

Blatter got a degree in business and economics from the University of Lausanne in 1959.

Blatter worked at FIFA, first as technical director in 1975.

Blatter Then worked at FIFA as general secretary in 1981.

Sepp Blatter's 1998 election to the presidency of FIFA over UEFA President Lennart Johansson occurred amidst much controversy.

He was re-elected as head of FIFA in 2002. Blatter's 2002 candidacy has been marked with rumours of financial irregularities and backroom dealings.

Blatter was re-elected unopposed for another four years on 31 May 2007, even though only 66 of 207 FIFA members nominated him.

The criticism attracted by Blatter's refusal to allow goal-line technology or video replays intensified following the controversial Frank Lampard disallowed goal in the match between England and Germany on 27 June 2010.

In 2011, elections were scheduled for the FIFA presidency, in which Blatter was again the incumbent candidate, running for a fourth consecutive term. There being no other nominations, Blatter ran unopposed in the ensuing presidential election and was re-elected for a fourth term, with 186 of the 203 votes cast.

On 29 April 2013, FIFA's Ethics Committee concluded its investigation into allegations of illegal payments to FIFA officials from the organisation's former marketing partner International Sports and Leisure (ISL), which went bankrupt in 2001, and published its report.

In 2015, elections were scheduled for the FIFA presidency, in which Blatter was again the incumbent candidate, running for a fifth consecutive term. Prince Ali bin Hussein was his opponent in the election. The vote took place at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zürich on 29 May 2015. Neither party received the necessary two-thirds majority of votes from the first round with Blatter receiving 133 to Prince Ali's 73. According to FIFA rules, a second round should have been held for the two candidates, with a simple majority being sufficient for victory. However, before the second round of voting commenced, Prince Ali announced his withdrawal, handing Blatter victory by default.

On 2 June 2015, FIFA abruptly called a press conference at their Zürich headquarters, where Blatter announced that he would resign from the post of FIFA president amid the ongoing corruption scandal.During the news conference he said: "My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody" and announced an extraordinary congress scheduled "as soon as possible" to elect his successor.Blatter announced that he would remain in office until his successor could be elected at the extraordinary congress, likely to be held some time between December 2015 and March 2016.

On 25 September, Swiss investigators announced that they were investigating Blatter in relation to payments made to UEFA president Michel Platini. While Blatter and Platini denied any impropriety around the payments, major FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa Inc., McDonald's, and Budweiser issued public statements requesting that he resign for the good of FIFA.

On 8 October 2015 he was suspended from FIFA for 90 days while investigations into payments made to Michel Platini were conducted. FIFA said in a statement: "The grounds for these decisions are the investigations that are being carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee.

On 21 December, FIFA's ethics committee banned both Blatter and Platini from football for eight years.

In February 2016, a FIFA appeals committee upheld the suspension but reduced it from eight years to six.

In November 2017, American soccer star Hope Solo accused Blatter of sexual assault at the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards in 2013.