Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina and grew up in Harlem. As with many others in his neighborhood, Thomas Sowell left home early and did not finish high school. The next few years were difficult ones, but eventually he joined the Marine Corps and became a photographer in the Korean War. After leaving the service, Thomas Sowell entered Harvard University, worked a part-time job as a photographer and studied the science that would become his passion and profession: economics.
After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University (1958), Thomas Sowell went on to receive his master's in economics from Columbia University (1959) and a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago (1968).
In the early '60s, Sowell held jobs as an economist with the Department of Labor and AT&T. But his real interest was in teaching and scholarship. In 1965, at Cornell University, Sowell began the first of many professorships. Thomas Sowell's other teaching assignments include Rutgers University, Amherst College, Brandeis University and the University of California at Los Angeles, where he taught in the early '70s and also from 1984 to 1989.
Thomas Sowell has published a large volume of writing. His dozen books, as well as numerous articles and essays, cover a wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to judicial activism, from civil rights to choosing the right college. Moreover, much of his writing is considered ground-breaking -- work that will outlive the great majority of scholarship done today.
Though Thomas Sowell had been a regular contributor to newspapers in the late '70s and early '80s, he did not begin his career as a newspaper columnist until 1984. George F. Will's writing, says Sowell, proved to him that someone could say something of substance in so short a space (750 words). And besides, writing for the general public enables him to address the heart of issues without the smoke and mirrors that so often accompany academic writing.
In 1990, he won the prestigious Francis Boyer Award, presented by The American Enterprise Institute.
Currently Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, Calif.
There can be honest differences of opinion on many subjects. But there can also be dishonest differences. Last week's testimony under oath about events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 makes painfully clear that what the Obama administration told the American people about those events were lies out of whole cloth.
If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, "diversity" should be recognized as the undisputed world champion.
If you are driving along and suddenly see a big red rubber ball come bouncing out into the street, you might want to put your foot on the brake pedal, because a small child may well come running out into the street after it.
While it is not possible to answer all the e-mails and letters from readers, many are thought-provoking, whether those thoughts are positive or negative.
Someone called politics "the art of the possible." But, in the era of the modern welfare state, politics is largely the art of the impossible.
Whose interests are immigration laws supposed to serve -- and whose interests do current immigration reform proposals actually serve?
Britain's late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said it all when she wrote that the world has "never ceased to be dangerous," but the West has "ceased to be vigilant."
During decades of watching both collegiate and professional football, I have seen hundreds of touchdowns scored by black players -- but not one extra point kicked by a black player.
Most laws are meant to stop people from doing something, and to penalize those who disregard those laws.
Amid all the heated, emotional advocacy of gun control, have you ever heard even one person present convincing hard evidence that tighter gun control laws have in fact reduced murders?
New York City's Stuyvesant High School is one of those all too rare public schools for intellectually outstanding students.
Since when has it been considered smart to tell your enemies what your plans are?
The Obama administration treated the creation of "democracy" in the Middle East as a Good Thing. Ironically, those who created the United States of America viewed democracy with fear-- and created a Constitutional republic instead.
We all know that guns can cost lives because the media repeat this message endlessly, as if we could not figure it out for ourselves. But even someone who reads newspapers regularly and watches numerous television newscasts may never learn that guns also save lives-- much less see any hard facts comparing how many lives are lost and how many are saved.
Many ideas presented as "new" are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before -- and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent "Growth and Opportunity Project" report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called "Me too" Republicanism.
The decision of the government in Cyprus to simply take money out of people's bank accounts there sent shock waves around the world. People far removed from that small island nation had to wonder: "Can this happen here?"
The main thing wrong with the term limits movement is the "s" at the end of the word "limit."
At one time young Ben Carson had the lowest grades in his middle school class, and was the butt of teasing by his white classmates. Worse yet, he himself believed that he was just not smart enough to do the work.
Among the many irrational ideas about racial and ethnic groups that have polarized societies over the centuries and around the world, few have been more irrational and counterproductive than the current dogmas of multiculturalism.
The desire of intellectuals for some grand theory that will explain complex patterns with some solitary and simple factor has produced many ideas that do not stand up under scrutiny, but which have nevertheless had widespread acceptance -- and sometimes catastrophic consequences -- in countries around the world.
Carney: Okay Fine, Senior Officials Knew the IRS Report was Coming, but Nobody Told Obama | Guy Benson