Walter Carrington, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria and Senegal, has died at the age of 90 according to a statement by his wife, Arese Carrington,
“It is with a heavy and broken heart but with gratitude to God for his life of selfless humanity that I announce the passing of my beloved husband Walter Carrington, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and Senegal. Further announcements will be made shortly,” she said.
According to her, Walter was a loving husband, father, grandfather, cousin, uncle, friend and in-law.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson said . . .. It is not the length of life but the depth of life. Walter was fortunate, his life had both length and depth,” she said.
Carrington was born in 1930. He served as the US Ambassador to Senegal from 1980 to 1981. He was appointed by US President Bill Clinton in 1993 as the US Ambassador to Nigeria, where he remained until 1997.
His ties to Nigeria were deep; he had married into a Nigerian family and had lived in three Nigerian cities since the late 1960s.
Carrington graduated from the Harvard Law School (AB 1952; JD 1955). Upon graduation from Harvard, he enlisted in the US Army, where one of his assignments was as an enlisted man with the Judge Advocate General Corps (Germany, 1955–57).
Upon separation from the military, he entered a private law practice in Boston, Massachusetts; during that time, he also served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the youngest person to serve until that date.
He held various positions in the Peace Corps from 1961 to 1971, serving as Country Director in Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Tunisia and then as Regional Director for Africa (1969–71).
From 1971 to 1980, he was Executive Vice President of the African-American Institute.
Carrington served as the US Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal from 1980 to 1981. In 1981, he was named Director of the Department of International Affairs of Howard University. He published several articles on Africa. He served as US Ambassador to Nigeria from 1993 to 1997. On 1 September 2004, Carrington was named the Warburg Professor of International Relations at Simmons College in Boston.
Carrington was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. In 1997, he received an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Livingstone College, North Carolina.
In 1991, Carrington published Africa in the Minds and Deeds of Black American Leaders (with Edwin Dorn). In 2010, he published A Duty to Speak: Refusing to Remain Silent in a Time of Tyranny, a compilation of his speeches supporting democracy and human rights in Nigeria during the Abacha military dictatorship.
Read also:“10 things you probably didn’t know about Walter Carrington” at The Nation.
and Ex-US ambassador Carrington dies at 90 at The Nation