Ronald W. Walters, a longtime professor of political science at Howard University and the University of Maryland, and one of the most respected public intellectuals on matters of race, civil rights and public policy, died Friday at age 72. He had been suffering from cancer.
Dr. Walters won worldwide acclaim as the author of many books, including works on black presidential politics, pan-Africanism and the resurgence of white conservatism.
After 25 years at Howard, Dr. Walters became director of the African American Leadership Institute at Maryland and frequently appeared wrote for the popular press and appeared on television programs discussing major issues of the day. In 1984, he was a key adviser to the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson, and he had been a major intellectual force behind the Congressional Black Caucus since the 1970s.