"The Bell Curve"
Image license: CC BY-SA 2.0
Year of Birth
Field of Knowledge
Charles Alan Murray (; born January 8, 1943) is an American political scientist and author. His book Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950–1980 (1984), which discussed the American welfare system, was widely read and discussed, and influenced government policy. He wrote the controversial book The Bell Curve (1994), written with Richard Herrnstein, in which he argues that intelligence is a better predictor than parental socio-economic status or education level of many individual outcomes including income, job performance, pregnancy out of wedlock, and crime, and that social welfare programs and education efforts to improve social outcomes for the disadvantaged are largely wasted.
Murray’s most successful subsequent books have been Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 (2003) and Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (2012). Over his career he has published dozens of books and articles. He has been accused of promoting scientific racism.
Murray is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.