Scroll to read about Walt Palmer’s life as an organizer & activist, or click an image to jump to a section.
Walt Palmer was born in 1934
in Atlantic City, and moved to Philadelphia in 1939. Walt grew up in the Black Bottom, raising his siblings when his father died at 12 and helping to provide for his family by doing odd jobs and performing music and dance on the streets.
Walt Palmer was arrested for the first time at age 12, he was shot and stabbed before high school, involved in local gangs, and went on to graduate from West Philadelphia High School, graduated from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Respiratory and became director of Cardio-Pulmonary Care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, studied business and communications at Temple University, went to Cheyney University for his teacher’s degree in history, social studies, and communications, then went to Howard Law for his Juris Doctorate.
Additionally, Walt has worked for many organizations doing community organizing, he’s helped to buy and sell many major businesses, was a chief negotiator between MOVE and the city, worked in education, and is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was inducted into the Philadelphia College of Physicians in 2005.
Scroll for his degrees, areas of work, life timeline, and to request him as a speaker.
Areas of experience & expertise
Afrocentrism, Black Liberation & Black Power
Business: Entrepreneurship and minority buyouts
Dance & Percussion
Education: Black People’s University, University teaching, & charter school
Government, Politics & Law: Law degree, neighborhood defense from expansion, political campaigns
Media: Radio, television production & directing
Medical: Cardio-Pulmonary therapy, pediatrics, and mental health
Music, Art, Dance & Drama
University of Pennsylvania
School of Cardio Pulmonary Care. Years: 1953 – 1957
Cheyney State University
Bachelor’s degree in secondary education with certifications in history and social studies. Years: 1964 – 1966
Studied business administration as well as radio, television production, and direction. Years: 1962 – 1964
Howard University Law School
Juris Doctorate degree. Years: 1971-1974
Walt Palmer’s Early Life Timeline
October 7th, 1934
Walt Palmer is born
Moved to Philadelphia
The Black Bottom, Philadelphia
My father died
My first arrest
Mother met step father, more siblings
Hired as a Surgical Attendant
Got accepted into Penn’s School of Respiratory Therapy
Created the W.D. Palmer Foundation and the Freedom School
Hired at CHOP and became a director
Became director of Model Cities
See full timeline
Click here for link to timeline
Walt Palmer’s story has been told in many ways, by many people. Visit the links, watch the videos, or download the files below to find out more.
By Format (Youtube videos, links, and PDF Files)
The Black Bottom Archives
Philadelphia City Council Resolutions
About Walt Palmer
Request Walt Palmer as a speaker
Or reach out for more information
The Palmer Foundation, Inc.
Walter D. Palmer, J.D./Founder/President
PO Box 22692
Philadelphia, PA 19110