Remembering Ralph Bunche: United Nations Diplomat and Civil Rights Activist

Stephen G. Hall SAVE THIS

Nobel Prize winner Ralph Bunche (photo courtesy of Politico).

One of the greatest architects of the postwar world was Ralph Bunche. Bunche’s career as a consular officer, peacemaker and United Nations (UN) diplomat casts a long shadow over diplomatic affairs in the Cold War era, and his work has important implications for the contemporary world order. 

Born in Detroit, Michigan on August 7, 1904, Bunche excelled in school and athletics. He was valedictorian of his high school class, matriculated to UCLA, and then attended Harvard University where he received a graduate degree in International Relations and Political Science. His doctoral work focused on colonial administration in West Africa. He became the first African American to receive a doctoral degree in Political Science from an American university when he obtained his PhD at Harvard in 1934. Bunche did postdoctoral studies in anthropology at the London School of Economics…

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