Edward J. Perkins

luminary U.S. diplomat, one of first Blacks to hold senior posts in the State Department

Edward Joseph Perkins (June 8, 1928 – November 7, 2020) was an American diplomat. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, South Africa, and the United Nations 1992-1993.[1] He was later Director of the US State Department's Diplomatic Corps.

Edward J. Perkins
Ambassador Perkins.jpg
United States Ambassador to Australia
In office
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byMelvin F. Sembler
Succeeded byGenta H. Holmes
19th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush
Preceded byThomas R. Pickering
Succeeded byMadeleine Albright
United States Ambassador to South Africa
In office
October 16, 1986 – May 22, 1989
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byHerman W. Nickel
Succeeded byWilliam L. Swing
United States Ambassador to Liberia
In office
July 12, 1985 – October 22, 1986
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byWilliam Lacy Swing
Succeeded byJames Keough Bishop
Personal details
Born(1928-06-08)June 8, 1928
Sterlington, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedNovember 7, 2020(2020-11-07) (aged 92)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Spouse(s)Lucy Chen-mei Liu
Alma materUniversity of Maryland University College
University of Southern California

Perkins died on November 7, 2020 at a hospital in Washington, D.C. at the age of 92.[2]


  1. "Edward J. Perkins". The American Academy of Diplomacy. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  2. Statement on the Passing of Ambassador Edward Perkins