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.
Will the Veterans Administration scandal wake up those people who have been blithely saying that what we need is a "single payer" system for medical care?
Many years ago, in upstate New York, there was a lady who was caught in a fierce snow storm that produced conditions called a "whiteout." That's when the snow is falling so thick and fast that all you can see in any direction is just sheer white.
A political battle that is shaping up in San Francisco has implications for other communities across the country. he issue that will be on the June ballot is whether voter approval shall be required to change the height restrictions on buildings along the San Francisco waterfront.
There seems to be a full-court press on to get colleges to "do something" about rape on campus. But there seems to be remarkably little attention paid to two crucial facts: (1) rape is a crime and (2) colleges are not qualified to be law-enforcement institutions.
If you want to get some idea of the moral bankruptcy of our educational system, read an article in the May 4th issue of the New York Times Magazine titled, "The Tale of Two Schools."
Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker was internationally renowned within the economics profession, but was not nearly as well known among the general public as he deserved to be. More important, his path-breaking ideas, including his analysis of the economics of racial discrimination, deserved to be much more a part of the many discussions of that subject.
Dunbar High School in Washington is becoming a controversial issue again -- and the controversy that is beginning to develop has implications for American education well beyond the District of Columbia.
It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it.
Of all the cynical frauds of the Obama administration, few are so despicable as sacrificing the education of poor and minority children to the interests of the teachers' unions.
Income inequality has long been one of the liberals' favorite issues. So there is nothing surprising about its being pushed hard this election year.
Liberals can be disarming. In fact, they are for disarming anybody who can be disarmed, whether domestically or internationally.
Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives.
The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense.
Black journalist Chuck Stone was one of those people whose passing makes us think, "We shall not see his like again." He was passionately interested in racial issues but he was never a race hustler. He followed nobody's party line but called the issues as he saw them.
The recent Supreme Court decision over-ruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says -- free speech for everybody.
Japan recently turned over to the United States enough weapons-grade nuclear material to make dozens of nuclear bombs.
Many people are lamenting the bad consequences of Barack Obama's foreign policy, and some are questioning his competence.
Recently former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice added her voice to those who have long been urging the Republican Party to reach out to black voters. Not only is that long overdue, what is also long overdue is putting some time -- and, above all, some serious thought -- into how to go about doing it.
At a time when polls show public opinion turning against the Democrats, some Republicans seem to be turning against each other. Even with the prospect of being able to win control of the Senate in this fall's elections, some Republicans are busy manufacturing ammunition for their own circular firing squad.
Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor) have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year.
Louisiana School System Says Educating Illegal Immigrant Children Will Cost $4.6 Million | Sarah Jean Seman