Graduate Phillips Exeter Academy, 1926.
A graduate of Harvard University, Barbour was one of the longest serving American diplomats in a foreign post, and was described by the Jerusalem Post as a "sagacious political intelligence who could continuously and precisely define for his own country and for his hosts the political aims of both, and more specifically the limits and tolerance of both." In 1961 Barbour was appointed as Ambassador to Israel by President John F. Kennedy. He remained at the post through the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson and passed up an appointment as Ambassador to the Soviet Union by Richard Nixon. He was considered as a diplomat who was sensitive to the needs of Israel.
At a dinner in his honor, Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir said about Barbour "There"s no big deal in having an Israel-American friendship society when you have friends like Nixon in the White House and Wally in Israel."
He was the Ambassador of Israel during the Six-Day War and the United States Ship Liberty incident, in which a United States technical research ship was attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship.
He was also a diplomat in Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Iraq and Egypt, and in the early 1950s he was counselor of the United States. Embassy in Moscow. He retired from the Foreign Service after he left Israel in 1973.
The Walworth Barbour American International School in Israel (WBAIS) in Even Yehuda, Israel, and a youth center in Tel-Aviv are named after him. Source:
United States Ambassador to Israel (1961-1973)
United States State Department Deputy Chief of Mission, London, England (1955-1960)
United States State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs (1954-1955)
United States State Department Consul, Moscow, Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (1949-1951)
United States State Department Chief, Division of South European Affairs (1947-1949)
United States State Department Assistant Chief, Division of South European Affairs (1945-1946)
United States State Department Second Secretary-Vice Consul, Athens, Greece (1944-1945)
United States State Department Second Secretary, near Govts. in exile of Greece and Yugoslavia at Cairo (1943-1944)
United States State Department Second Secretary-Vice Consul, Cairo, Egypt(1942-1943)
United States State Department Third Secretary-Vice Consul, Sofia, Italy (1939-1941)
United States State Department Third Secretary-Vice Consul, Baghdad (1936-1939)
United States State Department Vice Consul, Athens, Greece (1933-1936)
United States State Department Vice Consul, Naples, Italy (1931-1932).
Clubs: University (Washington).