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The Hammond Institute Mourns the Loss of Walter Williams

December 2, 2020


The Hammond Institute mourns the loss of one of its great friends, Dr. Walter Williams, who passed away yesterday. Williams was a renowned economist, widely published author, syndicated columnist, and global speaker. He is the author of dozens of publications in scholarly journals, 13 books, and countless popular essays.


Williams was a self-described radical who rejected the notion that the government was the solution to society’s problems, often arguing that things like the minimum wage, public education, social security, and affirmative action tended to harm the very people they were supposed to be helping. When it came to race, Williams did not fall in line with the conventional wisdom, and often pointed out the harm of government programs rather than racism and bigotry. For example, in his 1982 book, The State Against Blacks, Williams pointed out how a litany of government policies to regulate the labor market, such as occupational licensing, inflicted disproportionate harm on blacks. The book was the basis for the 1985 PBS documentary, “Good Intentions.”


We were thrilled to have brought Walter to Lindenwood University and the Hammond Institute in September 2019 for two days of public presentations and private meetings with campus and community groups. In probably his final large public lecture, the packed house heard and saw his take on the question “Is the Constitution Still Relevant? The audience not only took in Walter's trademark skewering of sacred cows, but were also entertained and charmed by his humor and warmth.

You will be missed greatly, Walter. May you rest in peace.

For a video of the event, along with an interview of Walter by our own Tawni Ferrarini, go here.

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