Edward J. Perkins bigraphy, stories - American diplomat

Edward J. Perkins : biography

June 8, 1928 -

Edward Joseph Perkins (born June 8, 1928) is a former American diplomat. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, South Africa, and the United Nations 1992-1993. He was later Director of the US State Department's Diplomatic Corps.


Perkins was born in Sterlington, Louisiana, son of Edward Joseph Perkins, Sr. and Tiny Estella Noble Holmes. He grew up in Pine Bluff, AR and graduated in 1947 from Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. He earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland University College in 1967, and his M.A. and Doctor of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and holds the highest honor the fraternity bestows on its members, the Laurel Wreath award.

He married Lucy Chen-mei Liu on September 9, 1962. They had two children: Katherine Karla Shih-Tzu and Sarah Elizabeth Shih-Yin.


  • Mr. Ambassador, Warrior for Peace (memoirs,) published by The University of Oklahoma Press in 2006.
  • The Palestinian Refugees: Old Problems - New Solutions (Studies in peace politics in the Middle East) - co-editor with Joseph Ginat, Sussex Academic Press, 2002.
  • The Middle East Peace Process: Vision Versus Reality (Studies in peace politics in the Middle East) - co-editor with Joseph Ginat, Sussex Academic Press, 2002.
  • Palestinian Refugees: Traditional Positions and New Solutions = co-editor with Joseph Ginat, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001.
  • The seedlings of hope: U.S. policy in Africa, U.S. Department of State, 1989.


After serving in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, including stints in Tokyo and South Korea, he held numerous positions in the Department of State and Foreign Service. He was appointed ambassador to Liberia in 1985, and in 1986 was appointed ambassador to South Africa, where he would serve until 1989. He returned home to serve in the State Department until 1992, when he was appointed ambassador to the United Nations and U.S. Representative to the U.N. Security Council. In 1993, he was appointed representative to the Commonwealth of Australia, where he served until 1996 before retiring at the rank of Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service.

He taught at the University of Oklahoma where he served as Senior Vice Provost Emeritus of International Programs at the International Program Center, and Professor Emeritus of the School of International and Area Studies. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

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Living octopus

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