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Betty Kaplan Gubert

Walton, Lester A. (20 April 1882–16 October 1965), diplomat, journalist, civil rights activist, and theater producer, was born Lester Aglar Walton in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Benjamin A. Walton, Sr., and Olive May Camphor Walton. After graduation from Sumner High School, Walton began his career as a journalist at the Globe-Democrat. He worked as a court reporter, covered general stories, and wrote a column on golf for the St. Louis Star Sayings, later the St. Louis Star-Time, from 1902 to 1906. Walton was thus the first African American to write for a white daily, and he was an active member of the St. Louis Press Club. For a time he also wrote for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, under Herbert Bayard Swope.

During these years Walton and Ernest Hogan a well known entertainer were copyrighting the words and music respectively ...


Charles Rosenberg

was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the oldest child of Benjamin A. Walton, a waiter and then a public school custodian, and Olive May Camper Walton, a schoolteacher. His father had been born in Arkansas to parents from Tennessee, and his mother, like her parents, was from Illinois, so was most likely born free in 1857. Walton recounted that his mother’s family traced their origins to Madagascar. Although some sources give his birth year as 1882, he appears in the 1880 census as a one year old. Four siblings followed: Nancy, Benjamin, Julia, and Lucille. He was raised in St. James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

In the late 1890s Walton graduated from Sumner High School in St Louis the first high school built west of the Mississippi to open this level of education to Americans of African descent when most public schools were segregated by race Soon ...