Walker, Alice, 1944-, African-American novelist and poet, b. Eatonon, Ga. The daughter of sharecroppers, she studied at Spelman College (1961-63) and Sarah Lawrence College (B.A., 1965). She brings her travel experience in Africa and memories of the American civil-rights movement to an examination of the experience of African Americans, mainly in the South, and of Africans. A self-described "womanist," she has maintained a strong focus on feminist issues within African-American culture. Walker won wide recognition with her novel The Color Purple (1982; Pulitzer Prize; film, 1985), a dark but sometimes joyous saga of a poor black Southern woman's painful journey toward self-realization. Among her other novels are Meridian (1976), The Temple of My Familiar (1989), By the Light of My Father's Smile (1994), and Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (2004). Her short-story collections include You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down (1981) and the partially autobiographical The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart (2000). She has also written poetry, such as Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems (1973), Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 (1991), and Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth (2003). Many of her essays are collected in Living by the Word (1988) and Anything We Love Can Be Saved (1997).

See biography by E. C. White (2004); studies by D. W. Winchell (1992), H. L. Gates et al., ed. (1993), and Ikenna Dieke, ed. (1999).

Walker, Amasa, 1799-1875, American economist, b. Woodstock, Conn. He became a merchant in Boston but retired from business in 1840. He lectured (1842-48) on political economy at Oberlin College, which he was influential in founding. He was a delegate to the peace congresses at London (1843) and Paris (1849). An abolitionist, he was elected secretary of state (1851-53) for Massachusetts by the Free-Soil party, and filled out a term (1862-63) as U.S. Congressman. Walker taught economics at Harvard (1853-60) and Amherst (1859-69). His Science of Wealth (1866) was long a popular economics textbook.
Walker, Madam C. J., 1867-1919, African-American entrepeneur, b. Delta, La., as Sarah Breedlove. Thought to be America's first black female millionaire, this daughter of ex-slaves was orphaned at 7, working at 10, married at 14, and a widow with an infant daughter at 20. She worked as a domestic and laundress and later sold hair-care products. In her scant spare time she experimented and developed (1905) an ointment and system to stop hair loss in African-American women and create smooth, shiny coiffures. In 1906 she moved to Denver, married newspaperman Charles J. Walker, and adopted Madam C. J. Walker as her business name. She expanded her product line, notably with a "pressing comb," and the two began selling her wares door-to-door. They proved so successful that she was able to hire saleswomen and to open stores and a beauty college. She moved (1910) her factory to Indianapolis and herself (1913) to Harlem, where she separated from her husband. Within a few years she had created a cosmetics empire and earned a fortune. An honored figure in business and philanthropy, she endowed educational institutions and supported many organizations to aid the African-American community. Her daughter, A'delia Walker, 1885-1931, b. Vicksburg, Miss., as Lelia McWilliams, was a well-known cultural figure in the 1920s, maintaining a salon attended by many members of the Harlem Renaissance.

See T. Due, The Black Rose (2000); A. Bundles, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker (2001); B. Lowry, Her Dream of Dreams: The Rise and Triumph of Madam C. J. Walker (2003)

Walker, Sir Emery, 1851-1933, English master printer, typographic designer, and engraver. He was, along with William Morris and others, one of the moving spirits behind the revival of fine printing at the end of the 19th cent. in England. He helped to found the Kelmscott Press and later was the partner of Cobden-Sanderson in the Doves Press. Walker was responsible for much of the successful work of the Doves Press, though he and Cobden-Sanderson quarreled, and most of the public credit went to Cobden-Sanderson. Walker exerted great force as a teacher. He was also interested in the improvement of ordinary books and had tremendous influence in changing book design. He was knighted in 1930.
Walker, Francis Amasa, 1840-97, American economist, statistician, and educator, b. Boston, grad. Amherst; son of Amasa Walker. In the Civil War he was brevetted brigadier general. Walker's activities in the U.S. government included service as director of the 10th Census (1880) and as U.S. commissioner of Indian Affairs (1871-72). From 1872 to 1880 he was professor of political economy at Yale, and from 1881 to his death he was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an economist, Walker is especially known for his theories on wages and profits (promulgated in The Wages Question, 1876) and for his advocacy of international bimetallism. Other works by him include Money (1878), Political Economy (1883), Land and Its Rent (1883), and International Bimetallism (1896).

See biography by J. P. Munroe (1923); study by B. Newton (1968).

Walker, George, 1618-90, Irish Anglican clergyman and commander. As joint governor of Londonderry (now Derry) during the siege (1689) of that city by the army of the deposed James II, Walker roused the people by his courage and inspiring sermons and was able to hold the city for 105 days until it was relieved. He received the thanks of Parliament, was given £5,000 by William III for the citizens of Londonderry, and was designated bishop of Derry. He published A True Account of the Siege of Londonderry (1689) and, in answer to charges of self-seeking, a Vindication (1690). Walker was killed in the battle of the Boyne.
Walker, Herschel Junior, 1962-, American football player, b. Wrightsville, Ga. After winning the 1982 Heisman Trophy, as college football's best player, at the Univ. of Georgia, he played (1983-85) for the New Jersey Generals of the short-lived United States Football League. In 1986 he moved to the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He subsequently played for the Cowboys (1986-89, 1996-97), Minnesota Vikings (1989-91), Philadelphia Eagles ((1992-95), and New York Giants (1995-96). A versatile running back, pass receiver, and kick returner, Walker is (including his USFL years) professional football's all-time leading yardage gainer.
Walker, Horatio, 1858-1938, Canadian painter, b. Ontario, largely self-taught. Though he lived in Rochester and New York City, he painted chiefly scenes from the simple life of the inhabitants of the Île d'Orléans in the St. Lawrence. His work has been compared to that of the painter J. F. Millet. Examples of his art are The Woodcutter and Milking (City Art Mus. of St. Louis).
Walker, James John, 1881-1946, American politician, b. New York City. Dapper and debonair, Jimmy Walker, having tried his hand at song writing, engaged in Democratic politics and in 1909 became a member of the state assembly. After studying law at St. Francis Xavier College and at New York Univ. law school, he was admitted (1912) to the bar. He attracted the notice of several Tammany leaders and, under the tutelage of Alfred E. Smith, was elected (1914) to the state senate. In 1921 he became minority leader of the senate and effectively pushed through liberal legislation. With Tammany backing, he defeated John F. Hylan, the incumbent, and F. D. Waterman to become mayor of New York City in 1925. In office Walker backed the adoption of an extensive transit system, unified the public hospitals, and created the department of sanitation. Immensely popular with the electorate, he was returned to office in 1928, defeating Fiorello H. LaGuardia. As a result of several frauds exposed in the municipal government in Walker's second administration, the state legislature ordered an investigation headed by Samuel Seabury. Extensive corruption was revealed, and 15 charges were leveled at the mayor. Walker hastily resigned (Sept., 1932) before the hearings were closed and went to Europe, where he lived for a number of years. Later he returned to the United States and in 1940 was appointed by Mayor LaGuardia as a municipal arbiter for the garment industry.

See G. Fowler, Beau James (1949, repr. 1970); H. Mitgang, Once upon a Time in New York (2000).

Walker, John Ernest, 1941-, English biochemist, Ph.D. Oxford, 1969. He has been a researcher at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge since 1974. In 1997 Walker was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Paul Boyer and Jens Skou. Boyer and Walker did pioneering work on the enzyme that participates in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that transports energy in cells. Walker determined the sequence of amino acids that make up the protein units of ATP and clarified the enzyme's three-dimensional structure.
Walker, Mary Edwards, 1832-1919, American surgeon and feminist, b. Oswego, N.Y., grad. Syracuse Medical College, 1855. At the beginning of the Civil War she offered her services to the Union army. For the first three years she served as a nurse, but in 1864 she was commissioned assistant surgeon, the first woman to have such a commission, and was awarded a medal for her service. She adopted male attire, which she wore to the end of her life, and was active in the struggle for woman suffrage and other reforms. Her book of essays, Hit (1871), presents the essence of her ideas on women's rights.

See biography by C. M. Snyder (1962).

Walker, Robert, d. 1658?, English painter, a follower of Van Dyck and favorite portraitist of Oliver Cromwell. His portraits of Cromwell and his family and followers are convincing studies of Puritan temperament. Examples are in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the Metropolitan Museum.
Walker, Robert John, 1801-69, American public official, b. Northumberland, Pa. A lawyer, he practiced for a time in Pittsburgh. In 1826 he moved to Natchez, Miss. As a Democratic Senator (1836-45) from Mississippi, Walker was an ardent advocate of U.S. expansion and became a leader in the drive to annex Texas. James K. Polk made him Secretary of the Treasury (1845-49), and he had an influential voice in government policies. He reestablished the independent treasury system and helped to improve Anglo-American relations (strained by the Oregon dispute) by the Walker Tariff of 1846, a moderate protective tariff that lowered the rates on many items. His financial administration (he was a firm hard-money advocate) is generally considered one of the most able in the history of the Treasury. In Mar., 1857, he reluctantly accepted appointment as governor of Kansas. Walker was committed to Stephen A. Douglas's popular sovereignty theory, and believed that the majority of Kansans favored admission to the Union as a free state. When President Buchanan refused to support Walker's contention that the proslavery Lecompton Constitution (see under Lecompton) was fraudulently adopted and should be put to popular vote, he resigned (Dec., 1857). He subsequently supported the Union in the Civil War and served as a financial agent in Europe. An expansionist to the end, he had a part in the purchase of Alaska.

See biographies by W. E. Dodd (1914, repr. 1967) and J. P. Shenton (1961).

Walker, William, 1824-60, American filibuster in Nicaragua, b. Nashville, Tenn. Walker, a qualified doctor, a lawyer, and a journalist by the time he was 24, sought a more adventurous career. After a short stay in San Francisco, his filibustering expeditions began with an invasion of Lower California (1853-54) intended to wrest the region together with Sonora from Mexico. The invasion failed miserably. He was tried for violating neutrality laws but was acquitted by a sympathetic jury. In June, 1855, Walker set out on another filibustering expedition, this time to Nicaragua, at the invitation of one of the country's revolutionary factions. His capture of Granada brought an end to the fighting, and, after obtaining recognition (May, 1856) from the United States for the new government, Walker declared himself president of Nicaragua in July, 1856. An alliance of hostile Central American states and the enmity of his former friend Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose Accessory Transit Company controlled Walker's supply lines, led to his defeat and surrender to the U.S. navy in May, 1857. Considered a hero by many Americans, Walker was again acquitted of violating neutrality, but he then alienated U.S. public opinion by blaming his defeat on the U.S. navy. From the Islas de la Bahía of Honduras, Walker made a final abortive attempt (1860) to conquer Central America but was forced to surrender to the British navy. He was turned over to Honduras and was shot by a firing squad Sept. 12, 1860.

See his own book, War in Nicaragua (1860, repr. 1971); W. O. Scroggs, Filibusters and Financiers (1916, repr. 1969); L. Greene, The Filibuster (1937, repr. 1974); biography by A. H. Carr (1963).

Evans, Walker, 1903-75, American photographer, b. St. Louis. Evans began his photographic career in 1928. His studies of Victorian architecture and his photographs of the rural South during the Great Depression, made for the Farm Security Administration, are among his best-known works. Many of Evans's photographs of tenant farmers appeared in the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941, with text by James Agee). Evans's other books include American Photographs (1938) and Message from the Interior (1966). His work is characterized by a spare precision that emphasizes the dignity of his subjects.

See biographies by B. Rathbone (1995) and J. R. Mellow (1999); Walker Evans (Mus. of Modern Art, 1971); Walker Evans and Unclassified: A Walker Evans Anthology (both: Metropolitan Mus. of Art, 2000).

Percy, Walker, 1916-90, American novelist, b. Birmingham, Ala. Trained as a physician, Percy turned to writing after he contracted tuberculosis and was forced to retire from practice. His novels The Moviegoer (1961) and The Last Gentleman (1966) concern Southern gentlemen who are feeling the impact of changing times. Love in the Ruins (1971) is a science fiction satire. His other novels are Lancelot (1977), The Second Coming (1980), and The Thanatos Syndrome (1987). His occasional writings were collected in the posthumous Signposts in a Strange Land (1991).

See biography by J. Tolson (1992); studies by L. W. Hobson (1988) and J. D. Crowley, ed. (1989).

Walker is a city in Linn County, Iowa, United States. The population was 750 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Near Walker, there are several guy-wired TV towers, all of them nearly 2000 feet tall.


Walker is located at (42.287342, -91.781400).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 750 people, 273 households, and 197 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,066.1 people per square mile (413.7/km²). There were 286 housing units at an average density of 406.6/sq mi (157.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.67% White, 0.27% African American, 0.53% Native American, and 0.53% from two or more races.

There were 273 households out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.6% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,438, and the median income for a family was $50,556. Males had a median income of $34,271 versus $23,618 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,258. About 4.1% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.


Just north of Walker is Cono Christian School, an international boarding school, founded by Max Belz in 1948.


External links

Search another word or see walkeron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature