He prepared at St. Paul’s School. At Princeton, he majored in modern languages, winning the Alden Memorial French Prize, and graduated with high honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was a member of the Student Tutoring Association and was vice president of Terrace Club.
During World War II, Wally served in North Africa and Europe with the Army’s public-relations group as a second lieutenant. He returned to Princeton to earn a master’s degree in politics in 1948.
For 13 years, he was a member of the advisory council to the Special Program in the Humanities for Princeton.
Wally’s career was in speechwriting for several U.S. congressmen and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., George H.W. Bush, whom he also served as senior environmental-policy adviser. He was editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, and authored the book America in the World.
His entries in the class books listed his hobbies as wildlife photography, etymology, poetry, history, and politics.
He married Barbara Sprott, who predeceased him. He is survived by his son, William Wallace Irwin; daughter Victoria Wooley; and a grandson, Benjamin Wooley. Wally’s classmates offer their sincere sympathies to them.