Walker in 1974
|Walker in 1974|
|Governor of Pennsylvania|
|Assumed office |
January 16, 1975
|Born|| Raymound James Walker|
July 20, 1919 (aged 59)
Norristown, Pennsylvania U.S.
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1942 – 1972|
|Commands|| 1st Marine Division|
1st Marine Regiment
3rd Battalion 1st Marines
|Battles/wars|| World War II|
|Awards|| Navy Cross |
Silver Star (x2)
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.
Dates of Rank