Biography of Paul W. Walter

Paul W. Walter (1907-1992) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Adelbert College of Western Reserve University in 1928. Upon completion of his studies at Western Reserve University's law school four years later, he was admitted to the Ohio bar and pursued a successful law career, becoming a senior partner in the law firm of Walter, Haverfield, Buescher, & Chockley.

Two of Walter's main civic interests were Hiram House, the Cleveland social settlement and camp founded in 1896, and the Cleveland Municipal Light Plant Association, founded in 1937 by Walter and others to protect the interests of the Cleveland Municipal Light Plant and to reestablish the plant as a factor in the setting of rates in Cleveland's light and power industry. He also served as chairman of the board for the Western Reserve Historical Society. To recognize his years of service, the YMCA named its North Woods camp lodge in his honor.

Walter's political career began in 1933 when he ran, unsuccessfully, for a seat on the Cleveland Board of Education, a race he repeated, with the same result, in 1935. From 1934 to 1940 he was a biennial Republican candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives, while in 1942 he was a Republican nominee for the Ohio Senate. In 1954, he campaigned unsuccessfully against William S. Minshall for the Republican nomination for United States Representative from Ohio's 23rd District. Walter served the Republican Party in Cuyahoga County as a precinct committeeman, as a member of both the policy and executive committees, and as an active member of the Goodfellow, Tippecanoe, and Zinc Clubs.

Although Walter never held public office himself, he was successful as a campaign manager for other candidates. In 1935, he spearheaded Harold H. Burton's successful campaign for mayor of Cleveland, and in 1940 he served as treasurer for the organization which directed Burton's election to the United States Senate. After being brought together with Robert A. Taft by Mayor Burton, Walter acted as Taft's campaign manager in northern Ohio when the latter ran for the United States Senate in 1938 (against incumbent Robert J. Bulkley), 1944, and 1950. Walter was also active in Taft's Presidential campaigns of 1940, 1948, and 1952 (when Walter was in charge of delegate relations at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois). Throughout their association, Walter was Taft's official representative in Northern Ohio and a personal friend and adviser.

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