Lester Walton

Lester Aglar Walton (April 20, 1882 – October 16, 1965)[1][2] was an American diplomat, journalist, and politician. In 1912 Lester Walton married Gladys Moore, daughter of Fred A. Moore, publisher of the New York Age. They had two daughters together.[3][4]

Walton, Lester Aglar 1882 – 1965


Walton graduated from the then segregated Sumner High School in St. Louis. After graduation, his father provided him with a white tutor to help him graduate from a business school.[5] Walton held three honorary degrees: in 1927, he received Master of Arts from Lincoln University in Chester, Pennsylvania. later in 1945, Walton received LL.D. from Wilberforce University in Ohio. And in 1958, University of Liberia presented him an honorary LL.D for his hard work for that nation.[3]

Walton was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first inter-collegiate Greek letter organization established for African Americans.[2]


Walton began his first career as golf writer at St. Louis Star from 1902 until 1906. He also worked as a court reporter for the St. Louis Star. By 1908, Walton moved to New York and became a manager and a theatrical editor for the New York Age. He pursued a career in journalism which helped him became a writer for The New York World from 1922 to 1931. in 1932, Walton returned to serve as an associate editor of New York Age. His career as a journalist and his interest in world affairs encouraged him to attend the Versailles Peace Conference as a correspondent in 1920. Walton had a special interest in Liberia in 1933, and he visited the country and wrote an article for the Age and New York Herald Tribune. In July 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him the United States minister and served as advisor to the Liberian delegation to the United States from 1948 to 1949.[6]

Political viewsEdit

Walton's career in politics began in 1913 and with the assistance from the Associated Press, he launched a movement for the universal spelling of the word Negro to begin with the capital "N". [7] He was also an active democrat who served as director of publicity in the Colored Division of the Democratic National Committee during 1924, 1928 and 1932.[3]

Human rightsEdit

Lester Walton was an original member of the Commission on Intergroup Relations, which was founded in 1955 by a New York City agency and later in the 1960s became known as the Commission on Human Rights.[3]


  1. ^ "Walton, Lester", in Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, Cary D. Wintz and Paul Finkelman, editors (Taylor & Francis, 2004) p1233
  2. ^ a b "Black Politicians in New York". Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  3. ^ a b c d "Lester Walton Papers". NYPL Archives. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  4. ^ "Lester Walton’s Champion: Black America’s Uneasy Relationship With Jack Johnson," (Master of Arts thesis), by Dave McKee, University of North Texas, August 2013; OCLC 910939735, 928064241
  5. ^ Curtis, Susan (2008). Colored memories a biographer's quest for the elusive Lester A. Walton. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. pp. 54. ISBN 978-0826266293.
  6. ^ "Online 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica".
Preceded by
Charles E. Mitchell
U.S. Ambassador to Liberia
Succeeded by
Raphael Lanier