This research is in the area of blind equalization and channel impulse response estimation for digital communication systems, including telephone channels as well as digital radio channels. One of the main objectives of the research is to propose and analyze novel schemes for reliable initialization of the conventional decision directed equalizers. Both batch an recursive methods are considered. It is known that the second order statistics are inadequate for ISI removal since the communication channel models are nonminimum-phase in general. Therefore, emphasis is on exploitation of higher order cumulant statistics, in addition to the usual second order statistics, of the data and of appropriately defined error signals. Another objective is to design and analyze novel globally convergent blind equalizers based on second and fourth order cumulant statistics of the data.