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Sowell, Thomas(1930– ) economist; born in Gastonia, N.C. Educated at Harvard, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago, he taught at Rutgers (1962–63), Howard (1963–64), and Brandeis Universities (1967–70). He left the University of California: Los Angeles in 1972 to direct the Ethnic Minorities Research Project at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. His books include Black Education: Myths and Tragedies (1972) and Race and Economics (1973). During the Reagan administrations of the 1980s he gained considerable publicity for advancing the neoconservative position that affirmative action was bad for the morale of black Americans.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.