As an African-American, George Walker had no prospects for a career in 1940s America. But incredibly, by 1996 he would be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music.
Walker was born in 1922 in Washington, D.C. He began piano lessons at age five, and entered Oberlin at 14 and the Curtis Institute at 19, after meeting Rudolf Serkin, who took him as a student there. Walker completed a Doctorate at Eastman. He would then continue to study in Europe with Nadia Boulanger.