June 8, 1928
He was born on June 8, 1928 in the city of Sterlington, Louisiana. His father was Edward Joseph Perkins, Sr. and Tiny Estella Noble Holmes. He grew up in Pine Bluff, AR and graduated in 1947 from Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. He enrolled in the University of Maryland in 1967 and obtained his B.A. degree. Earned his B.A. And further along him obtained his M.A. and Doctor of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and holds the highest honor the fraternity bestows on its members, the Laurel Wreath award.
In the year of 1986 he became the first Black American to be appointed as Ambassador to apartheid South Africa during Apartheid era. According to former Secretary of State George Shultz in his forward to the book Mr. Ambassador: Warrior of Peace, Ambassador Mr. Perkins’ performance in South Africa helped lay the groundwork for the end of apartheid. Mr. Perkins also played a vital role in the diplomatic process that brought about independence in Namibia.