Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 452


Born in 1940 in Houston, Texas, and raised in Long Island, New York, Richard Barron Parker graduated from Haverford College in 1962, then completed a Master’s at Brown University, a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Chicago, and a J.D. at Harvard Law School. After a few years practicing law in Boston and teaching at Rutgers University Law School (1971-1982), he spent most of his professional life in Japan: beginning in 1983 by teaching as a Fulbright scholar at Tohoku University in Sendai, at Osaka University, and then for eighteen years at Hiroshima Shudo University. He felt strongly attached to the Japanese aesthetic, and taking every opportunity to engage in Japanese life, he became a fan of Japanese food and drink, Japanese gardens and baths, karaoke, and especially of Chiyonofuki, the star sumo wrestler. After retiring to Maine in 2008, he joined the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine to continue teaching classes on Japan and on American elections and politics. Parker died in 2021 in Portland, Maine.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: 1960 Democratic National Convention; 1968 Democratic National Convention; meeting Ed Muskie; involvement in student politics; 1960s unrest.

Use Restrictions

© Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library,BatesCollege,70 Campus Avenue,Lewiston,Maine04240-6018.