Scholar, author, political analyst
Ronald W. Walters, 72, a longtime political analyst and scholar at Howard University and the University of Maryland who was a leading expert on race and politics, died Sept. 10 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.
He had been suffering from lung cancer.
Walters spent 25 years at Howard before becoming director of the African American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland. He wrote numerous books and more than 100 articles.
In 1984, Walters served as a deputy campaign manager for the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. He consulted on Jackson’s second presidential campaign in 1988 and advised members of Congress over the years.
Walters was born July 20, 1938, in Wichita, Kan., and was an early participant in the civil rights movement. He was a member of a local NAACP youth group in 1958 when he helped lead a sit-in at a drugstore counter, two years before a famous protest at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C.
“There was a student network across the country,” Walters told the Kansas City Star in 1991.
“In Greensboro they’d heard what happened in Wichita, and I’m sure it inspired them.”
He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and government in 1963 from Fisk University in Nashville, a master’s in 1966 in African studies and a doctorate in 1971 in international relations from American University in Washington.
Ronald W. Walters worked at Howard University for 25 years.