William Julius Wilson (born December 20, 1935) is an American sociologist. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1972 to 1996 before moving to Harvard University.
William Julius Wilson is Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University. He is one of only 22 University Professors, the highest professional distinction for a Harvard faculty member. After receiving a Ph.D. from Washington State University in 1966, Wilson taught sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1972. In 1990 he was appointed the Lucy Flower University Professor and director of the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Urban Inequality. He joined the faculty at Harvard in July 1996. He is affiliated with the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Wilson was an original board member of the progressive Century Institute, and a current board member at Philadelphia-based Public/Private Ventures.