Ronald W. Walker

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Ronald W. Walker was a historian and professor. Walker was widely published in the field of Mormon history, and historian Leonard J. Arrington called him "one of the church's most sophisticated writers.”[1]

He received several awards from the Mormon History Association. He received the Leonard Arrington award for lifelong service as a historian in 1983. He received the best book award in 1999 for Wayward Saints: The Godbeites and Brigham Young and in 2009 with his co-authors (Richard E. Turley Jr. and Glen M. Leonard) for Mountain Meadows Massacre. He received the award for best bibliography in 2010, the best article award in 1989, 2003, 2004, and 2005, and an award for best manuscript submitted to the Journal of Mormon History in 1993. He received a special citation in 2001. He received the Dale L. Morgan award for best article published in Utah Historical Quarterly.

He held a PhD from the University of Utah, a Master of Science degree from Stanford University, and both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University.

For several years he was a director of an Institute of Religion in southern California, then assigned to the University of Utah Institute. He worked in the Church Historical Department under Leonard Arrington for four years before being transferred to BYU to become a professor of history and inaugural member of The Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. He was a senior research fellow at the Smith Institute and acting director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies. He served a term as president of the Mormon History Association.

Walker was born in 1939 in Missoula, Montana, and raised in Iowa and California. He served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ in the Southern States mission. He and his wife, Nelani Midgley, had seven children. He died on May 9, 2016.