WASHINGTON — Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James today issued the following statement on the death of Walter Williams:
"Walter Williams was an American hero. Born in poverty, raised by a single mother in the projects of North Philadelphia, a college drop-out, he overcame all types of adversity to become a nationally renowned professor, economist and columnist.
"No matter what hat he wore, he was first and foremost an incorrigible fighter for freedom. As an Army private, he refused to let threats of court martial keep him from speaking out against Jim Crow policies in the military. After completing his tour of duty in Korea, Walter went on to earn his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in economics. It was the field in which he fought for the rest of his career, promoting free markets as the system best able to deliver economic justice and fairness.
"Walter’s voice and knowledge extended beyond the classroom. His frequent lectures at Heritage always packed our auditorium. He authored 10 books and hundreds of articles for scholarly journals. He also found time to serve on the boards of many think tanks and organizations. As a member of our advisory board, Walter frequently contributed to our publications, offering his sage advice on economic topics of the day.
"Whatever the venue—including his nationally syndicated newspaper column or in Congressional hearing rooms—Walter was never shy about criticizing public policies he believed were harmful to economic growth and to the minority groups they were supposed to benefit.
"His scholarly work merited various awards, including the Foundation for Economic Education Adam Smith Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars U.S. News Media Award, and The Fund for American Studies lifetime achievement award. His dedication to free markets and free peoples informed and inspired millions. He will be missed."