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William Julius Wilson
*William Julius Wilson was born on this date in 1935. He is a Black educator and sociologist.
From Derry Township, Pa., Wilson was educated at Wilberforce University (B.A., 1958) and Bowling Green State University (M.A., 1961) in Ohio, as well as at Washington State University (Ph.D., 1966). He joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) as an assistant professor of sociology in 1965. In 1972 he moved to the University of Chicago. He worked at the University of Chicago from 1972-1996 before moving to Harvard.
William Julius Wilson is Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard. He is one of only 19 University Professors, the highest professional distinction for a Harvard faculty member. Wilson was an original board member of the progressive Century Institute. Past President of the American Sociological Association, Wilson has received 41 honorary degrees, including honorary doctorates from Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
A MacArthur Prize Fellow from 1987 to 1992, Wilson has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute of Medicine, and the British Academy.
In 1996 he was selected by Time magazine as one of America's 25 Most Influential People. He is a recipient of the 1998 National Medal of Science and was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize in the Social Sciences by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.
Other honors granted to Wilson include the Seidman Award in Political Economy; the Golden Plate Achievement Award; the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Washington State University; the American Sociological Association's Dubois, Johnson, Frazier Award (for significant scholarship in the field of inter-group relations); the American Sociological Association's Award for Public Understanding of Sociology; Burton Gordon Feldman Award ("for outstanding contributions in the field of public policy") Brandeis University; and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Award (granted by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Professor Wilson is a member of numerous national boards and commissions and was previously the Chair of the Board of The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and of the Russell Sage Foundation.