Don Launer was born on July 1, 1931 in New York to Harry and Esther. His father was a soldier in the Jewish Brigade in World War I and his mother was the daughter of a 'Bilu' family in Rishon LeZion.
The family returned to Palestine in 1934 after Harry finished his studies. Don studied in the public school in Rishon and then in the Gymnasia, as well as in the Montefiori School in Tel Aviv. He was a member of the Scouts movement and of ' HaMaccabi Hatzair.' He was also active in the Haganah.
When the War of Independence began, he left his studies and joined the Palmach. At the age of 16 and a half, he went to the front lines, fighting in the Jerusalem hills, with the Harel Brigade. On September 17, 1948 he volunteered to do guard duty in the watchtower at Dir Even, near Hartuv. He was hit in the head by a sniper bullet and died of his wound. He was buried in Rishon LeZion.