Don Oberdorfer

Prof. Don Oberdorfer

Journalist, Professor, and Author

Donald "Don" Oberdorfer Jr. (May 28, 1931 – July 23, 2015) was an American professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University with a specialty in Korea, and was a journalist for 38 years, 25 of them with The Washington Post. He is the author of five books and several academic papers. His book, Senator Mansfield: The Extraordinary Life of a Great American Statesman and Diplomat, won the D.B. Hardeman Prize in 2003.

Oberdorfer graduated from Princeton University and went to South Korea as a U.S. Army lieutenant after the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War. In 1955 he joined The Charlotte Observer, and eventually found a job with The Washington Post. During the next 25 years, he worked for The Post, serving as White House correspondent, Northeast Asia correspondent, and diplomatic correspondent. He retired from the paper in 1993.

At the Nitze school, beyond his teaching position, Oberdorfer served as chairman of the U.S.-Korea Institute from its inauguration in 2006 and was named chairman emeritus in 2013.