Walter died Jan. 27, 2022, in his sleep in Boston.

Born in 1942 in Islip, N.Y., Walter earned a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross in 1963 and a Ph.D. from Princeton in 1969. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, and retired as a professor of political science, international relations, and sociology at Boston University. He was a Fellow of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. 

Between academic posts Walter directed the program of Soviet and East European Studies at the Foreign Service Institute and won the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award.

Walter’s books on Soviet and East European affairs include Socialism, Politics and Equality, Hierarchy and Change in Eastern Europe and the USSR (1979), and The Accidental Proletariat, Workers, Politics, and Crisis in Gorbachev’s Russia (1991). He spent a great deal of time in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, including as an exchange fellow at Moscow State University.

Along with a lifetime of scholarship, Walter will be remembered as a fan of Formula One racing and for his love of British sports cars.

Walter is survived by his wife, Eileen; daughters Christine and Elizabeth; and two grandchildren.

Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.

Graduate Class of 1969