Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author. A National Humanities Medal winner, he advocates laissez-faire economics and writes from a conservative and libertarian perspective. He is currently the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. According to Larry D. Nachman in Commentary magazine, he is considered a leading representative of the Chicago school of economics.
Sowell was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school, and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1958 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles, and worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980 he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author of more than 30 books.