Charles Murray

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Charles Murray is the Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom at the American Enterprise Institute.[1] Murray's work was cited by Iain Duncan Smith when he explained the agenda of the Centre for Social Justice think tank.[2]

1960 Cross Burning

According to a report in the New York Times, when Charles Murray was a teenager in 1960 he burned a cross with his friends. The report states:

In the fall of 1960, during their senior year, they nailed some scrap wood into a cross, adorned it with fireworks and set it ablaze on a hill beside the police station.

Journalist Jason DeParle describes Murray's reaction to being reminded of the incident:

A long pause follows when Murray is reminded of the event. 'Incredibly, incredibly dumb,' he says. 'But it never crossed our minds that this had any larger significance. And I look back on that and say, "How on earth could we be so oblivious?" I guess it says something about that day and age that it didn't cross our minds.'[3]

Career History

  • 1965–1967. Peace Corps Volunteer, Ministry of Health, Thailand.
  • 1968–1969. Researcher on contract with US-AID, Thailand.
  • 1969–1970, 1974–1981. Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research.
  • 1982–1990. Scholar, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
  • 1990–present. Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research


  • B.A., Harvard University, History, 1965.
  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Political Science, 1974.

International Work

  • Work and field research in Thailand, 1965–70, 1972–73, 1979, 1983, 1991.
  • Field research in Ethiopia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal, 1974.
  • Field research and lectures in the United Kingdom, 1986, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2007.
  • University lectures in New Zealand and Australia, 1987, 2001, 2007.
  • Conferences in the Soviet Union and Russia, 1990, 2004.
  • Consultant to the Bulgarian government, 1990.
  • Consultant to the OECD, France, 1991.
  • University lectures in Argentina and Chile, 1992.
  • University lectures in Sweden, 1992, 1997, 2004.
  • University lectures in Poland, 1996.
  • Panelist, European Union Council on Problems of Youth, Madrid, 2000.
  • University lectures in Scotland, 2000.


  • A BEHAVIORAL STUDY OF RURAL MODERNIZATION: Social and Economic Change in Thai Villages. New York: Praeger, 1977.
  • BEYOND PROBATION: Juvenile Corrections and the Chronic Delinquent. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1979 (with Louis A. Cox, Jr.).
  • LOSING GROUND: American Social Policy 1950–1980. New York: Basic Books, 1984.
  • IN PURSUIT: Of Happiness and Good Government. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.
  • APOLLO: The Race to the Moon. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989 (with Catherine Bly Cox).
  • THE BELL CURVE: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: The Free Press, 1994 (with Richard J. Herrnstein).
  • WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A LIBERTARIAN: A Personal Interpretation. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.
  • DOES PRISON WORK? London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1997.
  • INCOME INEQUALITY AND IQ. Washington: AEI Press, 1998.
  • THE UNDERCLASS REVISITED. Washington: AEI Press, 1999.
  • HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
  • IN OUR HANDS: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State. Washington: AEI Press, 2006.
  • REAL EDUCATION: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality. New York: Crown Forum, 2008.

Journal Articles

  • “The Two Wars Against Poverty,” Public Interest. Fall, 1982.
  • “Stakeholders as Deck Chairs,” New Directions in Program Evaluation. March, 1983.
  • “Community Control and the Physical Environment.” In James Q. Wilson, ed., Crime and Public Policy. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1983.
  • “The War on Poverty 1965–1980,” Wilson Quarterly. Autumn, 1984.
  • “Are the Poor ‘Losing Ground’?,” Political Science Quarterly. Fall, 1985.
  • “No, Welfare Isn’t Really the Problem,” Public Interest. Summer, 1986.
  • “Losing Ground Two Years Later,” Cato Journal. Spring/Summer, 1986.
  • “In Search of the Working Poor,” Public Interest. Fall, 1987.
  • “The British Underclass,” Public Interest. Spring, 1990.
  • “What’s Really Behind the SAT Score Decline?” Public Interest. Winter, 1992 (with Richard J. Herrnstein).
  • “Welfare and the Family: The American Experience,” Journal of Labor Economics. January, 1993.
  • “Does Welfare Bring More Babies?” Public Interest. Spring, 1994.
  • “The Next British Revolution,” Public Interest. Winter, 1995.
  • “The Physical Environment.” In James Q. Wilson and Joan Petersilia, eds., Crime. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1995.
  • “The Partial Restoration of Traditional Society,” Public Interest. Fall, 1995.
  • “Reducing Poverty and Reducing the Underclass: Different Problems, Different Solutions.” In Michael R. Darby, ed., Reducing *Poverty in America. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1996.
  • “IQ and Economic Success,” Public Interest. Summer, 1997.
  • “IQ, Success in Life, and Inequality: The Ambiguous Merits of Meritocracy.” In Finis Welch, ed., The Causes and Consequences of *Increasing Inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.
  • “The British Underclass: Ten Years Later,” Public Interest. Fall, 2001.
  • “Family Formation,” in Rebecca Blank and Ron Haskins, eds., New World of Welfare Reform. Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.
  • “IQ and Income Inequality in a Sample of Sibling Pairs from Advantaged Family Backgrounds,” Proceedings, American Economic Review. May, 2002.
  • “Measuring Achievement: The West and the Rest,” Public Interest. Summer, 2003.
  • “How to Accuse the Other Guy of Lying with Statistics,” Statistical Science. Vol. 20, No. 3, 2005.
  • “Changes Over Time in the Black-White Difference on Mental Tests: Evidence from the Children of the 1979 Cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth,” Intelligence. Vol. 34, 2006.
  • “The Magnitude and Components Change in the Black-White IQ Difference from 1920–1991: A Birth Cohort Analysis of the Woodcock-Johnson Standardizations. Intelligence, Vol. 35, 2007.
  • “Poverty and Marriage, Inequality and Brains.” Pathways. Winter, 2008.
  • “The (Improper) Role of Government in Defining Our Culture.” Northwestern University Law Review. Winter, 2008
  • “Guaranteed Income as a Replacement for the Welfare State.” Basic Income Studies. August, 2008. ARTICLES FOR A GENERAL AUDIENCE
  • “The Poverty War: Great Society vs. Trickle-Down,” Wall Street Journal. March 25, 1982.
  • “The Fairness Delusion,” American Spectator. October, 1984.
  • “The Domino that Didn’t Fall,” Atlantic Monthly. November, 1984.
  • “The New Racism,” New Republic. December 31, 1984.
  • “Helping the Poor: A Few Modest Proposals,” Commentary. May, 1985.
  • “White Welfare, White Families, ‘White Trash’,” National Review. March 28, 1986.
  • “The Coming of Custodial Democracy,” Commentary. September, 1988.
  • “Underclass,” Sunday Times Magazine (London). November 26, 1989.
  • “Here’s the Bad News on the Underclass,” Wall Street Journal. March 8, 1990.
  • “How to Win the War on Drugs,” New Republic. May 21, 1990.
  • “The Pursuit of Happiness on the Road to Democracy,” American Enterprise. January, 1991.
  • “Bad Lessons,” New York Times. January 8, 1992.
  • “But We’re Ignoring Gifted Kids,” Washington Post. Feb. 2, 1992 (with Richard J. Herrnstein)
  • “Thomas Jefferson Goes East,” National Review. March 30, 1992.
  • “Causes, Root Causes, and Cures,” National Review. June 8, 1992.
  • “The Legacy of the Sixties,” Commentary. July 1992.
  • “Stop Favoring Unwed Mothers,” New York Times. January 16, 1993.
  • “The Local Angle: Giving Meaning to Freedom,” Reason, October, 1993.
  • “The Coming White Underclass,” Wall Street Journal. October 29, 1993.
  • “Underclass: The Deepening Crisis,” Sunday Times (London). May 22 and May 29, 1994.
  • “The Aristocracy of Intelligence,” Wall Street Journal. October 10, 1994.
  • “Genes, Race, and IQ—An Apologia,” New Republic. October 31, 1994.
  • “What to Do about Welfare,” Commentary. December, 1994.
  • “The Real ‘Bell Curve’,” Wall Street Journal. December 2, 1994.
  • “The Bell Curve and Its Critics,” Commentary. May, 1995.
  • “Catastrophe Now,” New York Times. Nov. 14, 1995.
  • “A Stroll Through the Income Spectrum,” American Enterprise. July/August 1996.
  • “Keeping Priorities Straight on Welfare Reform,” Society. August 1996.
  • “As the Bell Curves,” National Review. December 8, 1997 (with Daniel Seligman)
  • “Americans Remain Wary of Washington,” Wall Street Journal. December 23, 1997.
  • “What Government Must Do,” American Enterprise. January/February, 1998.
  • “The Perils of GOP Activism,” Wall Street Journal. February 20, 1998.
  • “And Now for the Bad News,” Wall Street Journal. February 2, 1998.
  • “Our Dreyfus Case,” Weekly Standard. February 22, 1999.
  • “Deeper into the Brain,” National Review. January 24, 2000.
  • “Prole Models,” Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2001.
  • “The Fathers Are Still Missing,” Washington Post. October 30, 2001.
  • “Family Decay Hurts Equality,” American Enterprise. April/May 2002.
  • “SAT Reform Fails the Needy,” Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2002.
  • “An Opportunity Lost,” Public Interest, Winter, 2003.
  • “Well, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time,” New York Times, November 30, 2003.
  • “No Justice,” and “Simple Justice,” Sunday Times (London), Jan. 18 and 25, 2004.
  • “You Are What You Tax,” New York Times, April 14, 2004.
  • “Portrait of Privilege?” Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2004.
  • “Marriage-Lite,” Public Interest, Summer, 2004.
  • “Sex Education at Harvard,” New York Times, January 23, 2005.
  • “The Advantages of Social Apartheid,” Sunday Times (London), April 4, 2005.
  • “The Inequality Taboo,” Commentary, September, 2005.
  • “The Hallmark of the Underclass,” Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2005.
  • “Thomas Sowell: Seeing Clearly,” National Review, December 19, 2005.
  • “A Plan to Replace the Welfare State,” Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2006.
  • “The $10,000 Solution,” Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2006.
  • “Acid Tests,” Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2006.
  • “The GOP’s Bad Bet,” New York Times, October 19, 2006.
  • “Intelligence in the Classroom,” Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2007.
  • “What’s Wrong with Vocational School?” Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2007
  • “Aztecs vs. Greeks,” Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2007.
  • “Abolish the SAT,” The American, July-August 2007.
  • “The Age of Educational Romanticism,” The New Criterion, May, 2008.
  • “Francophilia,” Weekly Standard, June 2, 2008.
  • “For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time,” Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2008.
  • “Leave This Child Behind,” New York Post, August 17, 2008.
  • “College Daze,” Forbes, September, 2008.
  • “Good Teachers in Bad Times” Washington Times, October 14, 2008.
  • “We Can’t All Make the Grade,” Standpoint, October 2008.
  • “Should the Obama Generation Drop Out?,” New York Times, December 28, 2008


  1. Charles Murray, Resume, American Enterprise Institute, Accessed 21-February-2011
  2. Iain Duncan Smith, We're heading for social apartheid in Britain if we don't change course,, Accessed 21-February-2010
  3. Jason DeParle, Daring Research or 'Social Science Pornography'?: Charles Murray, The New York Times, 09-October-1994, Accessed 21-September-2013