ICAS Bulletin
Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

July 22, 2003

Ambassador Richard L "Dixie" Walker
ICAS Distinguished Fellow

Dear Friend:

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 founder.

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

ICAS Fellow