Charles Alan Murray (born 1943)
Is an American paleoconservative and paleolibertarian leaning political scientist, author, columnist, and pundit.
He first became well known for his Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950–1980 in 1984, which discussed the American welfare system. He is best known for his controversial book The Bell Curve, co-authored with Richard Herrnstein in 1994, which argues that class and race are linked with intelligence. Murray has also written In Pursuit: Of Happiness and Good Government (1988), What It Means to be a Libertarian: A Personal Interpretation (1996), Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 (2003), and In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State (2006). He published Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality in 2008.
Murray's articles have appeared in Commentary Magazine, The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. currently working as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC.
Early life and education
Murray was raised in Newton, Iowa in a Republican, non-collegiate "Norman Rockwell kind of family" that stressed moral responsibility. He is the son of Frances B. (née Patrick) and Alan B. Murray, a Maytag Company executive. He had an intellectual youth marked by a rebellious and prankster sensibility. As a teen he played pool at a hangout for juvenile delinquents, studied debate, espoused labor unionism (to his parents' annoyance), and on one occasion burned a cross next to a police station.
Murray credits the SAT with helping him get out of Newton and into Harvard. "Back in 1961, the test helped get me into Harvard from a small Iowa town by giving me a way to show that I could compete with applicants from Exeter and Andover," wrote Murray. "Ever since, I have seen the SAT as the friend of the little guy, just as James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard, said it would be when he urged the SAT upon the nation in the 1940s." However, in an editorial published in the New York Times on March 8, 2012, Murray suggested removing the SAT's role in college admissions, noting that the SAT "has become a symbol of new-upper-class privilege, as people assume (albeit wrongly) that high scores are purchased through the resources of private schools and expensive test preparation programs".
Murray obtained a BA in history from Harvard in 1965 and a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974.