In Greek mythology, Laërtês was the son of Arcesius (also spelled Arceisius) and Chalcomedusa. He was father of Odysseus and Ctimene by his wife Anticleia, daughter of the thief Autolycus. Laërtes was an Argonaut and participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar. Laërtes's title was King of the Cephallenians, which he presumably inherited from his father Arcesius and grandfather Cephalus. His realm included Ithaca and surrounding islands, and perhaps the neighboring part of the mainland.
Another version of the story says that he was not Odysseus' real father, which was Sisyphus who had seduced Anticleia.
After Odysseus and Telemachus routed the suitors that had been threatening his wife, Penelope, some of the suitors' surviving relatives confronted them. Athena infused vigor into Laértes, so he could help Odysseus by killing Eupeithes, father of Antinous.