1. He twice failed the entrance exam at the Polytechnique in Paris because of his weak math skills.
2. He enrolled in a mining engineering school, wrote novels, and was an art critic for a while.
3. He was self-taught in economics.
4. Walras thought he deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, though he failed to win one.
That biographical information is from Cocktail Party Economics: The Big Ideas and Scintillating Small Talk about Markets, by Eveline J. Adomait and Richard G. Maranta. I can imagine this book as a good supplement to an undergraduate economics class with a very good basic text; it is mostly basic analytics with scattered interesting features throughout the book. Here is a short interview with one of the authors.