Richard John Walton was born on May 24, 1928 in Saratoga Springs, NY to Gertrude and Richard James Walton. At a very early age he moved with his family to Providence, RI where he was raised, attending Classical High School  and Brown University . He interrupted his years at Brown with two years in the U.S. Navy as a journalist's mate.
After a couple of years as a disk jockey on radio station WICE, Providence, he attended the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, earning a master's degree .
Walton then worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal in 1954 and 1955 and then moved to the New York World-Telegram and The Sun 1955-1959. In 1959 he moved to Washington where he worked as producer-host of Report to Africa for the Voice of America. He traveled widely in Africa in 1960 doing a series of documentaries on the independence movement for which he interviewed many African leaders including Patrice Lumumba. In 1962 he returned to New York City as principal UN correspondent for VOA.
He left VOA in 1967 to write his first book: The Remnants of Power: The
Tragic Last Years of Adlai Stevenson. Eleven other books followed as listed elsewhere on Amazon.
During subsequent years he contributed to a number of publications: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, The Saturday Review, Cosmopolitan, Playboy and many other publications. He was an early member of the National Book Critics Circle.
Walton also began teaching parttime in the years after he left VOA, teaching writing, political science and history at Housatonic Community College in Stratford, CT, The New School for Social Research in New York City and what is now Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. And for the last 25 years he has taught, first political science and history and then writing at Rhode Island College. There he was one of the founders of the Adjunct Faculty Union of the American Federation of Teachers and in 2009 he was elected as its first president.
Walton became active with the Citizens Party and in 1980 was active in the presidential campaign of environmentalist Barry Commoner and in 1984 was the Citizens Party candidate for vice president, running with feminist Sonia Johnson as presidential candidate. He later became active in the U.S. Green Party and has served on several of its national bodies.
He returned to his home state of Rhode Island in 1981 and became an activist serving with Amos House [state's largest soup kitchen], for some years as president. He also volunteered with the Stone Soup Coffee House, now about to enter its 30th season. He was its first president and served for 15 years; he is still active and in June 2010 was returned to the presidency. He has also served on the boards of the George Wiley Center [advocates for the poor], the RI Coalition for the Homeless, and Slater Mill Historic Site. As a long time member of the Providence-Niquinohomo Sister City Project he has been to Nicaragua many times where the Project built a health center and a school. He has also twice served on RI medical teams in Guatemala. And he has traveled widely all through Central America.
Walton has received the Sister Carol McGovern Award of the RI Coalition for the Homeless for his work with the homeless. And also the John Kifney Award of the Providence Newspaper Guild for his service to the community.
He has been married to two splendid women, Margaret Hilton and Mary Una Jones. Both marriages ended in divorce. He has two children, Richard  and Catherine  and one granddaughter, Maggie , daughter of Catherine. He now lives at 5 Grenore St., Warwick, RI 02888, where he is an avid gardener living right on the shores of historic [rum-running] Pawtuxet
Walton loves to travel and has visited more than 50 countries, perhaps most interestingly teaching English in a Shanghai elementary school in the summer of 2007. An interesting life.