Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
Ambassador Richard L "Dixie" Walker
ICAS Distinguished Fellow
Dr Richard L Walker, James F Byrnes Professor Emeritus of
International Studies and Ambassador-in-Residence at the
University of South Carolina died Tuesday, July 22, 2003,
after a long bout with cancer. He was 81.
Dr Walker was born in Bellefonte, PA, the son of Robert
Shortlidge and Genevieve Bible Walker. He was a 1944 graduate
of Drew University and received a certificate in Chinese
language and area studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
His MA degree in Far Eastern and Russian Studies and PhD
degree in International Relations were both earned at Yale
University. He served on the faculty of Yale University until
1957 when he moved to South Carolina to organize a new program
in International Studies. In 1961 Dr Walker founded the
Institute of International Studies which grew into a preeminent
national and international center of research, conferences,
consultation and publications. In 1996 the Institute was
re-named the Richard L Walker Institute in honor of its
Drawing on a family missionary background and intensive
language training while serving in the U S Army during World
War II, Walker was a Chinese language interpreter with General
MacArthur's headquarters in the Pacific Theater of Operations.
Recalled to active service during the Korean War, he began a
lifetime of study, writing and involvement in East Asia. On
several occasions he lived there with his family in Japan,
Korea and Taiwan. He traveled frequently over many years to
countries in Northeast and Southeast Asia for service with the
U S Department of State and the U S Information Agency.
In 1981, Professor Walker was tapped by President Reagan to
serve as his Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. After
unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate, he served
with distinction at that post until 1986, longer than any other
American Ambassador. For his many contributions during his
tenure, he received special recognition from the President and
was awarded the highest civilian decoration of the U S
Department of Defense. President Reagan wrote to him, "You have
transformed quiet diplomacy into a fine art."
Among his many honors and awards, Dr Walker was especially
proud of his academic awards including honorary degrees from
Drew University, The Citadel, Seoul National University, and
the University of South Carolina. Dr Walker was also honored
by the Republic of China on Taiwan with the Order of the
Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon. Dr Walker served on the Board
of Directors of the National Committee on U S - China Relations,
the Board of the U S Strategic Institute, and the Board of
Directors of the American Association for China Studies of
which he served as National President from 1995-1997. He was a
member of the Association for Asian Studies, Pi Gamma Mu,
Omicron Delta Kappa, and Aurelian Honor Society.
Dr Walker was a devoted family man. He was predeceased by
Celeno Kenly Walker, his loving wife of 45 years. He is
survived by his children Geoffrey Kenly Walker, Anne Walker
Cleveland and her husband William C Cleveland III, S Bradley
Walker, eight grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Ambassdor Walker was awarded the position of "
ICAS Distinguished Fellow<"
on December 11, 1997.
Sang Joo Kim / signed
Sr. Fellow & Executive Vice President