After the war, Mr. Ackerman was admitted to the UA Law School despite possessing neither a high school nor college diploma, and graduated with a juris doctorate, cum laude, in 2 1/2 years.
He practiced law briefly with former University of Arizona Law School Dean Charles Ares, sharing office space with future U.S. Rep. Morris Udall and future Interior Secretary Stewart Udall.
He served as a deputy Pima County attorney in the early 1950s. In 1954, he was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives and two years later to the state Senate. He was elected Pima County attorney in 1958 and 1960.
During that period, he was active with Boy Scouts of America, Boy's Club of Tucson, the Anti-Defamation League, Arizona Cancer Society and several civic boards.
He served two terms as state president of the Young Democrats and was president-elect of the National Association of District Attorneys when he was asked to become a foreign service officer.
He and his wife in 1963 moved to Washington, D.C., where he was named congressional adviser on Latin American affairs for the Agency for International Development with the State Department. During the next 20 years, his assignments included Panama, Ecuador and Washington, where he received a master's degree in international public policy at Johns Hopkins University. His final assignment was as regional mission director for the Guatemala-based Regional Foreign Assistance Program for Central America.
His duties sometimes were hazardous, including disaster relief and assisting in diplomatic efforts in war zones. He once was pinned down during a firefight in Nicaragua, Jones said.
The Ackermans returned to Tucson to retire in 1983. He continued public service, acting as a board member and chairman of KUAT-TV between 1984 and 1990.
He was an active supporter of the arts and of UA sports efforts.