Walter G. Davis, 64, the director of the Department of Community Services of the AFL-CIO and a longtime labor official, died Dec. 18 at Holy Cross Hospital. He had cancer.
Mr. Davis, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in New York City. During World War II, he served in the Army in the European and Pacific theaters.
After the war he became a skycap at LaGuardia Airport in New York and this led to his involvement in union work. In 1952, he was elected president of Local 290 of the United Transport Service Employees. In 1958, he was elected executive vice president of the national union with responsibility for all bargaining with railroads and airlines.
In 1961, he joined the staff of the AFL-CIO as assistant director in the Department of Civil Rights. From 1965 to 1966, he was deputy executive director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He then returned to the AFL-CIO as director of education, a post he held until being named head of the Department of Community Services in 1980.
In the course of his career, Mr. Davis helped start the National Urban League's LEAP program, which is designed to increase black participation in the construction trades. In 1969, he conducted a study that led to the establishment of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Silver Spring.
In 1956, while working full time, Mr. Davis earned a bachelor's degree at Columbia University. He also did graduate work at Columbia and attended Brooklyn Law School.
He was a member of the boards of United Way International, CARE and the United Service Organization.
Mr. Davis received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University in 1980.
Survivors include his wife, Doris of Silver Spring, and three children, Allison J., of Teaneck, N.J., Walter G. Jr., of Washington, and Philip N., of New Haven, Conn.