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Ralph Elihu Becker Edit Profile

diplomat , Lawyer

Ralph Elihu Becker, American lawyer, diplomat. Bar: New York 1929, Supreme Court of the United States Court 1940, District of Columbia 1949.


Ralph Becker was born on January 29, 1907, in New York City, to a tailor from Lithuania and a mother from Minsk.


Bachelor of Laws, St. John's University, 1928. L.L.D., St. Johns University, 1983. Honorary Doctor of Laws, South Eastern University, Washington.


He was a founding trustee of the National Center for the Performing Arts and served as its general counsel during the Eisenhower administration and until 1976. He earned his law degree from St. John's University law school in 1928. He served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in World War II, attached to the 30th Infantry Division.

After his discharge, he went to Washington, D. C. and became the chairman for the Young Republican National Committee. In the 1960s, he joined an Arctic expedition that he had helped sponsor, and brought back a pair of polar bears as a gift for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. From 1976-1977 we was rewarded for his lifetime of loyal service to the Republican party with an appointment as Ambassador to Honduras.

He died of congestive heart failure on August 24, 1994, and was buried soon afterwards in Arlington National Cemetery.


  • He landed in Normandy after D-Day and won a Bronze Star, along with medals from the Belgian, French, and Dutch governments.



Chairman cultural development committee Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, 1958, former board directors, general counsel, 1964-1971. Director emeritus, board directors, general counsel, secretary Albert Schweitzer Foundation, 1955. President board directors Voice Foundation, 1976-1994, Friends of Lyndon Baines Johnson Library.

Advisory committee L.B. Johnson Memorial Grove on the Park. Founding director, former general counsel Wolf Trap Foundation, 1964-1976. Member advisory committee Secretary Interior Wolf Trap Farm Park for Performing Arts.

Representative of President L.B. Johnson with rank special ambassador Independence Ceremonies, Swaziland, 1968. Member Arctic Expedition for polar bears Washington Zoo, 1962, Antarctic-South Pole Operation Deepfreeze, 1963. National chairman Young Republicans, 1946-1949.

Member Republican National Executive Committee, 1948-1951, President's Inaugural Committee, 1953, 57, 69, 73, 80, 83, Vice President Rockefeller Inaugural Medal Committee, Republican Senatorial Inner Circle, finance committee Republican Eagle, Presidential Task Force. Charter member National Republican Congressional Committee. Donor collection political Americana to Smithsonian Institution, Dartmouth College, St. Albans School, L.B.J. Library, University Texas, Austin., Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson University (South Carolina).

Founder, director Inter-American Music Festival. Founding member Friends of the National Zoo, 1958. Member St. Albans Parish.

Served to captain JAGS, Army of the United States, 1942-1945 (ass't and acting judge advocate 30th Infantry Division), European Theatre of Operations. Fellow Corcoran Gallery Art, Aspen Institute Humanistic Studies. Member American Bar Association (member major committees, delegate International Bar Association committee meeting Monte Carlo 1954, Oslo, 1956, chairman Vienna post convention American Bar Association meeting London 1957), District of Columbia Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Westchester County Bar Association, International Bar Association, Federal Bar Association (national council), American Law Institute (life member), 30th Infantry Division Association (president 1958), United States Capitol History Society (founding director), New York State Society (president 1963-1964), History Society Washington, Arctic Polar Institute (honorary), Smithsonian Association (national member), Supreme Court History Society (founding director, member executive committee, chairman annual meetings 1978, 79, 80), American Federation Musicians (honorary), James Smithson Society of Smithsonian Associates (life), Friends of the Folger Library, Friends of National Zoo (founding), Center For Study of Presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower Society (honorary trustee), National Wildflower Research Center, Dacor-Bacon House Foundation, Choral Arts Society (honorary), Council American Ambassadors, American Foreign Service Officers Association, Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired, Capitol Hill Club, Masons (32 degree).


Son of Max Joseph and Rose (Becker) B. M. Ann Marie Watters. Children: William Watters, Donald Lee, Pamela Rose, Ralph Elihu Junior.

Max Joseph Becker

Rose (Becker) Becker

Ann Marie Watters

William Watters Becker

Donald Lee Becker

Pamela Rose Becker

Ralph Elihu Junior Becker