Nationally known conservative columnist Walter E. Williams, who has been featured in the Tyler Morning Telegraph for several years, passed away Wednesday. He was 83.

Williams served as a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia since 1980 and was most recently the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics.

From 1995 to 2001, he was a department chairman. He was a faculty member at Los Angeles City College, California State University and Temple University, according to his biography on Creators Syndicate.

He joined Creators Syndicate, the company that distributes his columns to publications, in 1991 following the takeover of Heritage Features Syndicate.

His last column before his death was titled, “Black education tragedy is new,” and it can be found in the Tyler Paper’s Wednesday opinion page or at tyler paper.com.

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, said Williams lived a legendary life and he will be sorely missed.

“Born in the projects of Philadelphia to a single mother of two, Walter went on to achieve the American dream as a brilliant economist, accomplished professor, and profound author,” Cruz’s statement read. “As a teenager, I frequently read his work and was moved by his fierce defense of free markets and the virtues of liberty. Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer his family and loved ones. His legacy will endure as we continue to fight for liberty.”

From 1963 to 1967, Williams was also a group supervisor of juveniles for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, the biography description stated.

Over 150 of his publications have appeared in scholarly journals like Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review, Social Science Quarterly, Reader’s Digest, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. He made several TV and radio appearances.

The books he authored include The State Against Blacks (later made into a television documentary, America: A Minority Viewpoint), All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa’s War Against Capitalism, More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty Versus The Tyranny of Socialism, and his autobiography, Up From The Projects.

Williams served as a public speaker and gave testimony before both houses of Congress.

Chris McDaniel, a Republican Mississippi state senator, expressed his condolences on Facebook after hearing the news of Williams’ death.

“The great economist and freedom fighter Walter Williams has died. He was the author of over 150 publications and a wonderful conservative voice,” McDaniel wrote. “He will be missed.”

Scott Walker, former Republican Wisconsin governor, also commended Williams' conservative ideals.

“Dr. Walter Williams was a champion for freedom and free enterprise,” Walker said. “He as a long-time speaker for Young America’s Foundation.”

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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.