Log In | Contact Us| View Cart (0)
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Walt Riker Papers


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Pre-Press Secretary

Press Secretary

Post-Press Secretary

Published Material


Contact us about this collection

Walt Riker Papers, 1943-2003 | Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections

By Tessa Klink, Charles Welborn, Sarah D'Antonio, Erin Wolfe

Printer-friendly Printer-friendly

Collection Overview

Title: Walt Riker Papers, 1943-2003Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1981-1993

ID: 01/014

Primary Creator: Riker III, Walter F. (1947-)

Extent: 14.63 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The collection is arranged chronologically into four series based on major functions of Walt Riker’s career and includes Pre-Press Secretary, Press Secretary, Post-Press Secretary and Published Materials. All attempts have been made during processing to preserve the original order of the collection as it was received from Walt Riker. Subseries and individual folders within each series are arranged alphabetically first, and then chronologically if needed. The collection includes a fourth series, Published Materials, comprised of books, newspapers and magazines, which did not fit intellectually within the three preceding series. An attempt was made to incorporate any viable published materials into the first three series. Additionally, photographs, slides and audio visual materials have been housed separately from text materials for preservation purposes, although removal forms still link the materials intellectually to the corresponding series.

Subjects: Dole, Robert J., 1923-2021, Kansas, Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )

Languages: English, Russian, Chinese

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Walt Riker Manuscript Collection, which spans the years 1943-2003, consists of correspondence, photographic and audiovisual materials, invitations, press passes and badges, maps, newspapers and clippings, books and magazines.

The majority of the collection relates to his tenure as Press Secretary for Senator Bob Dole. Riker worked alongside Senator Dole from 1981-1993, as his media specialist. Included in the collection are photographs of political functions, press releases, drafts of speeches, notes and itineraries. Many of the items reveal Riker’s close relationship with Senator Dole and his responsibility to promote the Senator’s public image. Also documented are Riker and Senator Dole’s extensive travels with the Congressional Delegation wherein they met such figures as Saddam Hussein, Pope John Paul II, and Deng Xiaoping, among others. Additional items not only portray Riker’s interest in politics, but also events closer to home including the Kansas City Royals World Series championship in 1985 and the Kansas Jayhawks Men’s Basketball championship in 1988.

In addition to materials pertaining to Riker's role as Press Secretary, a small portion of the collection includes essays and coursework related to Riker’s academic career at The University of Kansas. These materials consist primarily of graded papers from his time as a student at the William Allen White School of Journalism and are restricted to patron access in accordance with FERPA. The collection also includes memos and correspondence Riker acquired as a radio and television journalist for WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, from 1978-1981.

Collection Historical Note

Walter Riker (1947- ) was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He attended the University of Kansas, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1970. Following his graduation from the University of Kansas, Riker toured the country as the drummer of “Thump Theater” before returning to Lawrence and the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism. He graduated from the William Allen White School of Journalism with a Bachelors of Science in Broadcast Journalism in 1978. Shortly after, he began his broadcast career in radio and television at Channel 13-WIBW Topeka, an affiliate of CBS. Riker rose quickly through the ranks at WIBW, becoming the State House political correspondent. This position provided him the opportunity to report from the center of Kansas politics in Topeka, where he was introduced to Senator Dole.

After working at WIBW for four years, Senator Dole hired Riker in 1981 to be his Press Secretary. As Press Secretary, Riker accompanied Senator Dole throughout his political career, including his leadership positions as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Majority and Minority Leader and as a Presidential candidate in 1988. In addition to these duties, Riker also served as the communications leader for numerous Congressional Delegations that traveled the world, eventually visiting 58 countries with Senator Dole.

After 13 years of service, Walter Riker resigned as Senator Dole’s Press Secretary in 1993 to pursue a career in public relations at McDonalds. Riker’s tenure at McDonald’s culminated in a nine year stint as Vice President of Global Media Relations before his retirement in 2010. He remains a close friend of Senator Dole and was present at the dedication of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in 2003.

Subject/Index Terms

Dole, Robert J., 1923-2021
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )

Administrative Information

Repository: Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research, however, some materials within the Riker Papers are restricted because of their sensitive nature or because they contain personal or confidential information. These records are protected by federal laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Examples of restricted records are academic files and any materials containing personal information such as addresses and social security numbers. Restricted materials are identified at the box and/or folder level within the finding aid. Questions about these materials may be directed to the Senior Archivist of the Dole Archives.

Use Restrictions: Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different kinds of materials. Some of the documents and other historical materials in the Dole Archive are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. However, there are other materials that carry a copyright interest that must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Dole Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted materials.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Pre-Press Secretary, 1964-1981],
[Series 2: Press Secretary, 1981-1993],
[Series 3: Post-Press Secretary, 1993-2003],
[Series 4: Published Material, 1899-2001],
[Series 5: Objects],

Series 4: Published Material, 1899-2001Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: Books, 1899-2001Add to your cart.
Box 13Add to your cart.
Item 1: 1999: Victory Without War, 1988Add to your cart.
Item 2: Back Home, 1947Add to your cart.
Handwritten Inscription: "F.G. and M.F French"
Item 3: Beyond Reagan: The Politics of Upheaval, 1986Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Walt Riker by Rick (Henrick?) Smith, 1986 May
Item 4: Bob Dole, 1992Add to your cart.
Item 5: Bob Dole: Pictorial Biography of a Kansan, 1996Add to your cart.
Item 6: Buying the Night Flight: The Autobiography of a Woman Foreign Correspondent, 1983Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Walt Riker by Georgie Anne Geyer "Gee-Gee," 1998 January 1
Item 7: Call the Briefing!: Reagan and Bush, Sam and Helen: A Decade with Presidents and the Press, 1995Add to your cart.
Signed by Marlin Fitzwater, 1995 October 23
Item 8: The Capitol: A Pictorial History of the Capitol and of the Congress, 1988Add to your cart.
Item 9: Deaner: Fifty Years of University of Kansas Athletics, 1986Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Senator Dole by Leslie W. Naesmith, 1986 November 16
Item 10: A Documentary History of the Construction and Development of the United States Capitol Building and Grounds, 1904Add to your cart.
Item 11: The Faceted Chamber in the Moscow Kremlin, 1978Add to your cart.
Includes note: "In recognition of your participation in the seventh session of the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council in Moscow, November 15-18, 1982"
Item 12: The Great American Video Game: Presidential Politics in the Television Age, 1987Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Bob Dole by Marty, 1987 April
Item 13: Great Political Wit: Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House, 2000Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Walt Riker by Bob Dole, undated
Item 14: Great Presidential Wit (I Wish I was in the Book): A Collection of Humorous Anecdotes and Quotations, 2001Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Walt Riker by Bob (Dole?), 2001 March 27
Item 15: The Hill of Summer, 1981Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Wally Riker by Ivan Husovsky, 1983 February, and includes attached Thank You Letter from Riker to Husovsky
Item 16: History of Kansas, 1899Add to your cart.
"G.E. Jones" handwritten in cover
Box 14Add to your cart.
Item 1: Howard Baker's Washington: An Intimate Portrait of the Nation's Capitol City, 1982Add to your cart.
Includes letter to Walt Riker from E. Morgan Williams of the Cooperative League of the USA congratulating him on doing a great job at the RNC in Dallas, 1984 September 25
Item 2: In Review: Pictures I've Kept, 1969Add to your cart.
Item 3: Nixon: The Education of a Politician, 1913-1962, 1987Add to your cart.
Signed by Walt Riker, 1988 September 9
Item 4: The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace, 1989-1992, 1995Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Walt Riker by Jim Baker, undated
Item 5: Selected Letters of William Allen White, 1947Add to your cart.
Item 6: Selling of the President: 1968, 1969Add to your cart.
Item 7: The Senate of the United States of America, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 8: Senate Procedure, 1981Add to your cart.
Stamped Personal Copy
Item 9: Six Crises, 1990Add to your cart.
Item 10: Speaking Out: The Reagan Presidency From Inside the White House, 1988Add to your cart.
Item 11: Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News, 1992Add to your cart.
Note to Walt Riker from Dick Starmann (in which he asks Walt to return the book when finished reading)
Item 12: Unlimited Partners, 1988Add to your cart.
Two Copies: One includes a printed Thank You Note, "With heartfelt appreciation for your special contribution to the Doles and especially for your friendship and support, Elizabeth and Bob Dole"
Item 13: Up Front, 1945Add to your cart.
Item 14: Washington Goes to War: The Extraordinary Transformation of a City and a Nation, 1988Add to your cart.
Item 15: Washington Itself: An Informal Guide to the Capitol of the United States, 1981Add to your cart.
Item 16: What It Takes: The Way to the White House, 1992Add to your cart.
Inscribed to Dan by Bill, 1992 December 7
Sub-Series 2: Magazines, 1944-1960Add to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Ernie Pyle: Fighting Hearts, 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Liberty Ideals, 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Newsweek, 1976 August 30Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Newsweek, Time and U.S. News & World Report, 1984 September 3Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Time, 1943 September and NovemberAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Time, 1944 May-JuneAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Time, 1944 JulyAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Time, 1944 August-DecemberAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Time, 1945 January-FebruaryAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Time, 1945 April-JuneAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Time, 1945 August, November, DecemberAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Time, 1949 January, March, AprilAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Time, 1950 April and OctoberAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Time, 1951 JulyAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Time, 1952 May and JulyAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Time, 1960 October and NovemberAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: Newspapers, 1963-1990Add to your cart.
Box 12Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Daily News, 1974 August 9Add to your cart.
Folder 3: New York Post, 1974 August 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The New York Times, 1963 November 23Add to your cart.
Folder 2: The New York Times, 1974 August 8Add to your cart.
Folder 4: The New York Times, 1974 August 9Add to your cart.
Box 11Add to your cart.
Folder 3: New York Post, 1988 April 18Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The New York Times, 1974 August 11Add to your cart.
Folder 2: The New York Times, 1974 August 12Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Washington Times, 1988 February 18Add to your cart.
3 copies

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Pre-Press Secretary, 1964-1981],
[Series 2: Press Secretary, 1981-1993],
[Series 3: Post-Press Secretary, 1993-2003],
[Series 4: Published Material, 1899-2001],
[Series 5: Objects],

The Dole Institute is committed to universal accessibility in all programs and resources. We are in the process of making all of our web projects fully accessible. An accessible version of the archival material represented on this site will be made available upon request. Please contact us at dolearchives@ku.edu to request the document be made available in an accessible format, or doleinstitute@ku.edu for general assistance.
Page Generated in: 0.095 seconds (using 204 queries).
Using 2.91MB of memory. (Peak of 3.23MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 [url=http://www.uiuc.edu/]The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign[/url]