James Q. Wilson, 1931 - 2012

James Q Wilson died on March 2, 2012 at the age of 80. Every major American newspaper ran a long obituary, magazines and syndicated columnists examined his life and work, and prominent officials of both parties, from governments past and present, issued statements. Why all the fuss over a retired political science professor? Because, as President George W. Bush stated when awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, Wilson was arguably “the most influential political scientist in America since the White House was home to Professor Woodrow Wilson.”

— John J. DiIulio, Jr.


James Q. Wilson was an American political scientist who made major contributions to the understanding of urban politics, policing and crime, political organizations, bureaucracy, and character and culture.
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James Q. Wilson was among the most respected and influential students of politics of the second half of the twentieth century. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the government’s highest civilian award, and virtually every important honor the American Political Science Association can bestow. He also served on a wide array of government commissions.
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