Raymond Walker
Raymond Walker.png
Walker in 1974
Walker in 1974
Governor of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 16, 1975
Personal details
Born Raymound James Walker
July 20, 1919 (aged 59)
Norristown, Pennsylvania U.S.
Political party Republican
Military service
Service/branch Flag of the United States Marine Corps United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1942 – 1972
Rank US-O8 insignia Major General
Commands 1st Marine Division
1st Marine Regiment
3rd Battalion 1st Marines
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Navy Cross ribbon Navy Cross
Silver Star ribbon Silver Star (x2)

Bronze Star ribbon Bronze Star w/ Valor device (x2)
Purple Heart Bar Purple Heart (x4)
Combat Action Ribbon Combat Action Ribbon (x3)
World War II Victory Medal ribbon World War II Victory Medal

Raymond "Ray" James Walker (born July 20, 1919) is an American politician, war veteran, and current Governor of Pennsylvania since 1975.

Raymond Walker was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania as the eldest child of Charles and Edith Walker. Charles, a veteran of World War I, spent most of his time working in factories, while his mother was at home with him and his 6 other siblings.

Shortly after graduating from Harvard University, Walker joined the United States Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor to serve as an officer. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the command of a rifle platoon based in California. Walker saw combat all the way from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima and had attained the rank of Brevet Major by the end of the war.

After the war, Walker decided to stay in the Marine Corps to provide for his family back home, now serving officially as a Captain in command of a rifle company at Camp Pendleton. During the Korean War, Walker (now a Major) was deployed for the duration of the entire war and saw combat at battles such as Inchon and Wonju. Walker was severely wounded during the Second Battle of Wonju and nearly lost his life, however he quickly resumed command of his troops after a very brief recovery; earning him the Navy Cross for his determination to be with his men.

Following his heroism in Korea, Walker went stateside and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1956 and was the executive officer for the 1st Marine Regiment for six years. Walker would be promoted to Colonel to become the regimental commanding officer from 1962 and 1968; most of which during Vietnam. Colonel Walker would later be promoted to Brigadier General following his leadership during the Tet Offensive and was the deputy commander of the 1st Marine Division for two years, then later promoted to Major General as division commander.

In 1972, Walker was slated for promotion to Lieutenant General, however with the passing of his father and his mother diagnosed with cancer, Major General Walker said he would be retiring from the Marine Corps after serving his final post and would return home to Pennsylvania.

After retiring from the Marines, Walker was a well-known man in Pennsylvania for his reputation of courage and dignity serving in three wars. In 1975, Walker announced that he would run for Governor of Pennsylvania as a Republican. During his gubernatorial campaign, Walker painted himself as a centrist and described himself as a Rockefeller Republican.

Despite being a Republican in a bad era for the party, Walker openly denounced President Richard Nixon's Watergate Scandal and thought that Nixon should've been held accountable for his actions. Admired for his quick wit, his charisma, and his oratory skills, he is well respected by both Democrats and Republicans in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

In April 1979, Walker announced that he would be running for president in the 1980 election against incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Military Awards

Dates of Rank

Rank Date
US-O1 insignia Second Lieutenant1942
US-O2 insignia First lieutenant1943
US-O3 insignia CaptainJanuary–March 1944
US-O4 insignia Brevet Major1944
US-O3 insignia Captain1946
US-O4 insignia Major1950
US-O5 insignia Lieutenant colonel1956
US-O6 insignia Colonel1962
US-O7 insignia Brigadier general1968
US-O8 insignia Major general1970